President Rodrigo R. Duterte once again reminded the mining industry to take care of the environment, restore what their activities have damaged; and reiterated that protection of the environment is the administration’s top priority, while making sure that mining benefits all the Filipinos and not just the rich.

“Nature endowed us with this wealth to be tapped for the benefit of all generations. My policy in the utilization of these resources is non-negotiable: the protection of the environment must be top priority and extracted resources must be used for the benefit of the Filipino people, not just a select few,” President Duterte said during his 3rd State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 23rd.

“To the mining industry, I say this once again and maybe for the last time, do not destroy the environment or compromise our resources; repair what you have mismanaged. Try to change management radically because this time you will have restrictive policies. The prohibition of open pit mining is one,” he added.

Duterte warned the irresponsible miners to stop destroying the country’s watersheds, recharge areas, forests, and aquatic resources; and that he is expecting the industry to do its part in ensuring the country’s sustainable development.

The President also confirmed that in his administration, there would be reforms, but made it clear that he does not intend to quarrel with anybody. “Expect reforms, radical ones. I cannot intend to quarrel with anybody, with the moneyed, but for as long as I am here I said: you will just have to contend with me. I expect you to do your part in ensuring our nation’s sustainable development, starting now,” he stated.

The President finally urged all agencies concerned and local government units to “uphold the concept of inter-generational responsibility and utilization of our mineral wealth, the protection and preservation of our biodiversity, anchored on the right to a balanced and healthy ecology.”

By: Mineral Economics, Information and Publications Division

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