Open pit mining ban stays - Gov. Pingoy

Arthur Pingoy
South Governor Arthur Pingoy said the provincial government would continue enforcing the ban on open pit mining in the province unless it is nullified by the court.

"We have no choice but to enforce the prohibition on open pit mining. We can only stop enforcing it if the ban would be lifted by a competent court," Pingoy said.

Pingoy said implementing the ban is his "gesture of respecting the will" of the provincial board members who passed the South Cotabato Environment Code of 2010.

"Board members are the representative of the people in the provincial legislative council. When they passed the environment code, I considered it the voice of the people. I have no choice but to enforce it," Pingoy said.

Pingoy said he already instructed the members of the technical working group to submit to him the draft of the implementing rules and regulations of the code which prohibits open pit mining within the province.

Earlier, Interior and Local Government Secretary Jess Robredo, in his visit in General Santos City, urged the South Cotabato executives to uphold the rule of national law and recommended for the review of the environment code.

Robredo, an expert of local government laws, was referring to the province's environment code, which contradicts the Philippine Mining Act of 1995.

Robredo issued a memorandum order urging the provincial government to review its newly-approved environment code, citing the fact that the passage of the code is not consistent with the national law.

But the said order drew flak from the provincial officials and anti-mining advocates based in the province.

When asked to comment on Robredo's order, Pingoy said he only said, "I respect it."

Officials of the Saguittarius Mines Inc. (SMI), the subsidiary of Switzerland-based mining firm Xstrata, are optimistic that the ban would be lifted.

reported by RAMIL BAJO


  1. Is Jess Robredo a Mindanaoan? If not, then he's not affected of the consequences and that gives him the gut to support open pit mining. If yes, that gives me an impression that he benefits from it, or maybe receives benefits from the company that wants to extract the natural resources of the locality and make rich people richer... maybe personally? Just an opinion... of disgust...

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