May 12, 2017: Philippines mining law to stay: Duterte

May 12, 2017: Philippines mining law to stay: Duterte

Manila: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Wednesday the government cannot scrap an existing mining law, suggesting he is open to easing up on a crackdown launched by a dismissed minister who ordered the closure of half the country’s mines.

His comments appear to be in sync with the new head of the environment ministry he appointed this week, former military chief Roy Cimatu, who has said it was possible to balance mining and natural resources protection in the world’s top nickel ore supplier.

Duterte said he told Cimatu “to be to be true to yourself, to be true to your country and protect the environment.” “But remember there is a mining law and we cannot altogether banish it,” he told a media briefing just before he leaves for visits to Cambodia and China.

With an existing law, mining “has to be regulated and allowed” Duterte said, adding he wants stricter measures enforced.

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