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Rody reiterates policy vs open-pit mining

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte reiterated his policy against open-pit mining during the birthday bash for House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez last Friday in Tagum, Davao del Norte.

“Just think about the banning of the open-pit. It’s really destroying the country. I can’t give any other order to General Cimatu (Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu) except that please, kindly take care of the environment for the next generation,” Duterte said in English and Filipino.

Duterte said he has reminded Cimatu to make sure that open-pit mining operations are stopped to avoid further detruction of the environment.

Tagum is known for its gold mining operations.  

“So that’s my take here on mining because I know there are many mines here. The prosperity of Tagum has its roots sa mining,” the President said.

In the presence of top government officials and guests such as Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua, Duterte said Tagum cannot forever rely on gold mining as the major means of income for the government. It should slow down to pave the way for protection of the government, Duterte said.

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“So, whatever is left there, well, you cannot forever produce gold, although it’s unstoppable, it rises to the surface from the bowels of the earth,” he said.

Duterte noted that Tagum also strived to be one of the most competitive cities in the country, apparently referring to Tagum which ranked number three on the Overall Competitive Component Cities in the Philippines  based on the 2017 Cities and Municipalities Index.

The President noted, however, that it remains to be seen if Tagum will also be drug-free.

“But I was a bit successful in cleaning the city, to a certain degree. But really, to make it drug-free is something which is really impossible,” he said. 

Duterte maintained that he will pursue his campaign against illegal drugs and corruption as along as he is in office.

“It was not until after I became President, I said, ‘I’ll finish within three months,’ that I had access to all information about drugs and its dimension in the entire country,” he said.

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