Law to Protect Philippine Environment from Destructive Mining Operations
July 6th, 2010
On June 29, 2010, Governor Avance-Fuentes of South Cotabato, Mindanao, Philippines signed into law Resolution No. 84 “Enacting the Environment Code of the Province of South Cotabato”. This code bans open pit mining. It talks about the need for genuine consultation with affected indigenous people as well as for protection of the environment, particularly of local water supplies. Multiple concerns about the damaging effects of open pit mining underlay the Governor’s decision to sign the law. This was a courageous decision as she was under serious political pressure from a powerful politician with mining interests not to do so.
The Governor, in her signing statement, said: “When the rivers dry up, the aquifers no longer supply clean water, and pollution contaminate our waters, can we, in conscience, face the future generation? Is it not that we duty bound to actively ensure the sustainability of our natural resources for the next generation’s survival?”