Casiño commends Duterte for banning mining in Davao

DAVAO CITY — Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño has commended Davao City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte and the City Council for declaring the city a no mining zone, saying this showed that local officials had the political will to uphold the interest of the environment and their constituents despite the pressure and intense lobby of the mining corporations.

“I commend Mayor Duterte and the city council of Davao for taking this bold step for the environment. Not all local officials have the guts to go against the rich and powerful mining companies. I likewise express support for other local government units now being castigated by mining companies for prohibiting mining operations in their localities,” he said.

Casiño, who is in Davao  City to celebrate with Davaoeños the 75th Araw ng Dabaw, is the author of House Bill 4726 which seeks to close areas declared by local government units (LGUs) as No-Mining Zones from mining applications and operations, amending for the purpose the Philippine Mining Act of 1995.

Along with fellow Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares, Casiño also sponsored two resolutions supporting the mining moratoriums declared by the provincial governments of Capiz and Negros Occidental. Both resolutions have been approved by the House Committee on Natural Resources.

“While mining is recognized as one of the main contributors to the country’s gross domestic product, there is a growing resistance to large scale mining in the areas where these operate. Aside from Davao City, communities from different provinces such as Capiz, Marinduque, Palawan, Romblon, Negros Occidental, Eastern Samar, South Cotabato and Zamboanga del Norte have passed local ordinances declaring a ban on mining operations and/or a moratorium on applications. The communities in host provinces are the ones directly affected by mining operations and therefore have the right to be heard,” the progressive solon said.

“Being an extractive industry, mining poses great threats to our fragile environment. Local government units must be given the right to do what is best for the environment. Our bill seeks to do that by including among the areas closed for mining applications areas declared by local government units as no-mining zones. It also prohibits mining in prime agricultural lands as well as areas containing cultural properties,” he stressed.

“The national government and mining companies should respect and recognize local government ordinances banning mining operations in their respective territories. This is in keeping with the country’s laws and in recognition of the LGUs’ role to protect and preserve the environment and the people’s welfare,” the lawmaker added.

“There is a need to respect the prerogative of local government units to declare areas under their jurisdiction as no mining zones. By recognizing their role in the protection and preservation of the environment and the country’s natural resources for the present and the future generations, the people will participate more in the decision-making processes of the state,” Casiño ended. (ASA)


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