Malacañang: Ban on open-pit mining stays

Image by Mining Global, Malacañan Palace

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said on Monday that even after the Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) recommended that President Rodrigo Duterte lift the prohibition, the ban on open-pit mining stays.

Roque said: “I verified this personally with the President, he says that the ban on new open-pit mining remains.” 

However, Roque has yet to find out if Duterte have already been informed of the MICC recommendation that the ban be lifted.

“This is one of the instances when I personally asked the President if there’s been a change in policy and he says, that there is still no new policy on this, there is still a ban on new open-pit mining,” Roque said.

“I’m not sure about whether or not the MICC recommendation has reached the President. I will verify,” he added.

The MICC is co-chaired by Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary (DENR) Roy Cimatu and Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos Dominguez III.

In October, the MICC said that majority of the members of the panel voted to recommend that the DENR “lift the ban on open-pit mining provided that mining laws, rules and regulations are strictly enforced.”

In April, then-DENR Secretary Gina Lopez issued DAO 2017-10 that imposed a ban on the open-pit method of extracting copper, gold, silver as well as complex ores. She expressed in a series of Facebook posts her dismay, disgust when news of lifting the ban spread.

Watch this pinned-post video from her official Facebook account:

And here is a post from Philippines for Responsible Mining Facebook page.

Which side are you on?