MANILA — Vice President Leni Robredo on Wednesday said she will immediately reverse the Duterte administration's decision to lift the moratorium on mining if she is elected to the country's top job in the 2022 elections.
Last year, President Rodrigo Duterte lifted the nearly 9-year moratorium on new mining agreements, saying mining operations would support economic growth.
Robredo told talk show host Boy Abunda in his series of presidential interviews that it is important to hear the stakeholders in the mining industry, especially those in the communities.
“Ipapawalang bisa ko, napakahalaga pagdating sa usaping environment na binibigyan at ineempower ang mga maaapektuhan, binibigyan ang stakeholders at pinahahalagahan ang boses nila,” she said.
She noted that the passage of a land-use bill is needed to declare certain areas as mining zones.
“'Pag ‘di ito mapapasa, ang pag-issue ng mining permits ay hindi matatag ang basehan,” Robredo said.
On jobs and economic opportunities, Robredo again pushed for improvements in the maritime and fisheries industries, agriculture, manufacturing, as well as small businesses, to provide more jobs for Filipinos.
She emphasized the need for government to invest more in technology and digital industries.
“Tingin ng aming team, ang laki ng opportunity nito at eto na ang future. So, sa akin, ang pamahalaan dapat mag-invest dito,” Robredo said.
Besides Duterte's order, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu also issued last December an order lifting a nationwide ban on open-pit mining, which had been in effect since 2017.
The open-pit mining ban was imposed by Cimatu's predecessor, then-Environment Secretary Gina Lopez, who cited its destructive nature and potential for a disaster.