Davao mining ban proposal hangs

DAVAO CITY -- City lawmakers deferred the approval of the proposed ordinance on the total ban on mining operations in the city on Thursday.

Councilor Bernard Al-ag said they are yet to invite environment officials to shed light on the issue.

"We need more resource persons from DENR and City Planning to give us more information about the legal issues on the proposed mining ban," Al-ag said.

The proposed ordinance is authored by Councilor Leo Avila, chair of the council committee on environment, with Cuuncilor Danilo Dayanghirang as its co-author.

"While mining has been identified as a highly-important economic program of the National Government, the city recognizes the irreversibility of the destructive effects of mining on the earth's fragile ecosystem, especially to an island ecosystem such as Mindanao, and in worsening the magnitude of hunger and conflict as mining competes with the remaining available land, water and food resources," the proposed ordinance read.

Under the proposed ordinance, violators will face one year of imprisonment and/or a fine of not more than P5,000 only, without prejudice to the filing of the appropriate administrative, civil or criminal action.

Further, the draft of the proposed ordinance also states that even government officials and employees who will violate the policy will face administrative charges.

City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte earlier said local government units have the power to deny mining companies from operating within its jurisdiction.

"It's a grey area," Duterte said, when asked about his reaction on the proposed mining ordinance in Davao City pending at the City Council.

"You cannot overrule policies of the National Government. Ang saving grace diha (there) is a sort of provision that says you must get a clearance from the local government," he said.

The proposed ordinance totally bans mining of copper and gold in the city.

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau earlier commented that the proposed ordinance is not consistent with the Philippine Mining Act of 1995, which allows mining operations.

The proposed ordinance excludes mining on sand and gravel and limestone extraction.(Sun.Star Davao/Sunnex)


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