QUEZON CITY, Philippines — Prompted by powerful evidence of massive injury to communities and water supplies, and findings of rampant violations of environmental law, the Philippines has bannned new open-pit gold, copper, nickel, and silver mines.
The order to block any more open-pit metal mines in the Philippines comes a month after El Salvador became the world’s first country to ban all metal mining.
“We have suffered long enough,” said Regina Lopez, the Philippine secretary of the environment, who announced the ban during a news conference here on April 27. “What are we doing? This goes against everything, everything that God wants. People are suffering so much. The Earth is suffering. It’s wrong. And it will stop.”
The Chamber of Mines of the Philippines, the industry’s influential trade group, did not respond to a request for an interview for this article. But Ronald S. Recidoro, the chamber’s vice president for legal and policy, told the Business Mirror newspaper that the ban was “absurd” and “biased” against the mining industry. “It did not undergo any study,” he said.