MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said he wants to shut down mining operations in parts of the country, but sees a hindrance with existing laws.
“I will eventually close mining operations in most part of the country. The P70 billion they earn from tax is not enough to compensate for all the suffering and agony we have to experience every time there’s calamity or typhoon,” Duterte said at a forum in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu.
“There’s a law that allows mining. It’s an act of Congress I cannot over rule. I can only implement measures in the law,” he added.
The President issued the statement after visiting the victims of a massive landslide in Naga City, Cebu Friday night.
“I had to go to families of those who died, and those in the hospitals and to condole with them,” he said.
Cebu was not directly hit by Typhoon Ompong, the world's strongest typhoon so far this year, but has been pounded by heavy monsoon rain for days, making the slopes dangerously loose, and triggering a massive landslide that buried homes in Barangay Naalad and Sitio Sindulan Thursday morning.
“Whether or not climate change is true… there’s really something wrong in planet Earth,” Duterte said.
The President also frowned at the use of schools as evacuation centers for those affected by disasters.
He previously called for the construction of dedicated evacuation centers.
“When schools are occupied by evacuees, it causes a derailment in the education of children,” he said.