PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, July 23, warned the mining companies that he would implement "radical" reforms, as he intends to protect the environment.
In his third State of the Nation Address, the President told the mining firms to strictly follow environmental rules and regulations.
"To the mining industry, I say this once again and maybe for the last time, do not destroy the environment or compromise our resources; repair what you have mismanaged. Try to change [your] management radically because this time you will have restrictive policies," Duterte said.
"Expect reforms, radical ones. I cannot intend to quarrel with anybody, with the moneyed, but for as long as I am here I said: you will just have to contend with me. I expect you to do your part in ensuring our nation’s sustainable development, starting now," he added.
Duterte has repeatedly threatened to impose a policy against mining operators who appeared to be "destructive" to the country.
Amid Duterte's crackdown against erring mining companies, the Department of the National Environmental and Natural Resources ordered the shutdown of 23 mining firms and cancelled 75 mining agreements in May 2017.
Duterte reiterated that he would not let "irresponsible" miners to destroy the watersheds, recharge areas, forests, and aquatic resources.
The Chief Executive also told the concerned government offices and the local officials to ensure that the mining firms would comply with the environmental rules and regulations.
"I exhort all concerned agencies and local government units to uphold the concept of inter-generational responsibility in [the exploration] and utilization of our mineral wealth, the protection and preservation of our biodiversity, anchored on the right to a balanced and healthy ecology," he said. (Ruth Abbey Gita/SunStar Philippines)