Heroes Hall, Malacañan Palace
August 3, 2017

“I am carrying the burden of governance,” said President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in a dialogue with leaders and stakeholders of mining companies at the Malacañan Palace.

The President spoke of how every Filipino deserves a piece of the country’s bounty but lamented the number of Filipinos who died due to unsafe and incorrect mining practices, as well as from malicious actions of a few mining companies.

President Duterte shared his philosophy on the environment and said that ”the first spadeful from a virgin soil” is already a miniscule form of environmental pollution but added that stopping mining is not good for the country as billions of pesos in mining tax will be forfeited, aside from mining jobs that will be lost.

The President further discussed how unsustainable mining practices do more damage to surrounding communities due to destruction of natural resources such as muddying of fishing grounds that force fishermen to fish further away, with smaller fishermen unable to make a living.

“You are depriving the people of livelihood,” said the President.

He also mentioned the mining laws meant to preserve the country, saying, ”I can only implement mining laws to see to it that the environment… is amply protected.”

The President was accompanied in the dialogue by Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu and other government officials.

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