No sign Duterte will end ban on open-pit mining — spokesman

By: Arjay L. Balinbin

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte is not likely to lift the ban on open-pit mining — a method widely used by miners here and abroad — anytime soon, his spokesman said on Thursday last week.

“I think he will maintain the ban. Ayaw niya ng open-pit mining. ‘Yun ang kanyang policy… (He does not like open-pit mining, that is his policy),” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo said in an interview.

Antonio N. Apostol, officer-in-charge of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau’s Lands Geological Survey Division, told reporters at the sidelines of a Sept. 24 news conference that “there is a lot of pressure because business people have a lot of influence, and it’s a political decision.”

Rodolfo L. Velasco, head of the MGB’s Mine Safety, Environment and Social Development division, said in the same conference that the lifting of the ban will depend on the recommendation of the current environment secretary, Roy A. Cimatu.

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