Mining firms take up Duterte’s challenge – by Louise Maureen Simeon (Philippine Star – August 3, 2016)

MANILA, Philippines — The mining industry has taken President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent warning as a challenge to continue keeping up with the standards of responsible mining in the country.

“We continue to take the President’s statements as a challenge for us to step up our efforts and practices in adhering to the tenets of responsible mining,” the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) said.

On Monday, Duterte issued a stern warning to mining firms as he vowed to be tough on businesses that are destroying the environment and violating government standards.

“If you refuse to obey, I will place you inside the mining pit and cover it. You want to try it, fine. Let’s do it. You say mining is a critical component of the Philippine economy, of course it is, it’s income. But you are also making a critical damage,” he said.

Non-government organization Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) also welcomed Duterte’s announcement to forego the P40-billion mining investments. “We believe the statistical data that mining is not a significant contributor to the country’s gross domestic product of less than one percent and 0.04 percent of the total jobs,” ATM national coordinator Jaybee Garganera told The STAR.

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