MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said there has to be an “overhaul” of mining laws as he again cited the damaging effects of open-pit mining on the environment.
“Kung ako lang, tapos na ‘yan. It’s just a matter of signing an executive order. Pero may batas eh,” he said in his impromptu speech at the 17th founding anniversary of Digos City.
Duterte said there has to be an “overhaul,” but added that he would first focus on resolving the conflict in Marawi City.
He noted that Mindanao has a huge potential, “double that of Visayas and Luzon,” but progress was being hindered by mining in some areas.
“In Davao City, because [Mayor] Inday [Duterte] was steadfast, walang mining sa Davao, and I hope that it behooves upon the mayors to stand firm. Basta may erosion and 'yung tubig kontaminado, na you cancel because in the coming days, I might just decide to ban open-pit mining,” the President said.
He also scored mining companies whom he said have reaped the benefits of mining.
“Yumaman na kayo diyan, mga milyonaryo. Wala akong narinig na miner na taga-Digos. Puro mga corporation sa Maynila,” Duterte said.
Duterte had earlier warned mining firms to "restore the virginity" of mining areas or "I will tax you to death."