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MANILA, Philippines -- Davao Mayor Sara Duterte backed the anti-mining stance of her father Rodrigo, who is also her vice mayor and predecessor, saying the city government would reject all applications to extract metals within her jurisdiction.
The mayor said the only mining allowed will be limestone, and only by companies with existing permits.
“All applications will be opposed by the city government … along with the city council,” she said.
“We will oppose all applications. However, we will be making classifications. The rejection will cover all metal mining. Companies that have existing permits to operate limestone will be considered. They can continue with their business,” she added.
Future applications for limestone extraction will also be facing outright rejection, the mayor said.
Earlier, the elder Duterte vowed to lead the city council in rejecting mining applications.
But, he warned, even if mining firms hurdle this obstacle, they were likely to be attacked by the communist New People’s Army, which has a strong presence in the city’s hinterlands and in neighboring province.
And on Sunday, he said while it is impossible to stop Executive Order 79, which President Benigno Aquino III issued recently, from being implemented, he reminded the national government that ordinances and resolution reflect the sentiments of local government jnits.
Reacting to his statement, Malacanang deputy spokesperson Abigail Valte advised the vice mayor to first read the EO.
Among its salient points, EO 79 seeks to increase government’s shares from mining revenues and stresses that national law takes precedence over local legislation banning or regulating mineral extraction.
While the mayor and her father have occasionally found themselves disagreeing on issues and policy, they have not wavered on their rejection of mining within Davao City.
Both are also counting on a bill authored by Davao Representative Isidro Ungab that seeks to declare the city a mining-free zone.
“We are waiting for the House Bill of Congressman Ungab to ripen into a national law, that way we will still be covered by a national law,” Mayor Duterte said.
Meanwhile, an nongovernmental nongovernment group in Davao urged the city council to allocate more funds and enact local legislation on environment protection and sustainable agriculture.
“The months of June to August are crucial months because these are the months when the local government of Davao City begins to work on the Annual Investment Plan and the Budget Plan for 2013,” Mary Ann Fuertes, executive director of the Interface Development Interventions said. “To ensure that ordinances like the Watershed Code and the Organic Agriculture Ordinance have sufficient funds for implementation, we must make our voices heard at City Hall.”
Over the years, Davao has passed various local laws hailed as landmark legislation, including the bans on smoking and on spraying chemical pesticides in banana plantations, and the watershed code.
Fuertes noted that the Local Government Code of 1991 provides for the participation of NGOs and people’s organizations in budget planning through the Local Development Councils.
In the updated manual of operations for LGUs, stakeholder consultations are mandated during the presentation of the proposed budget.