The House of Representatives unanimously approved by the third and final reading a proposed bill making illegal all mining activity in Davao city. The metro city is the hometown and long-time political base of President Rodrigo Duterte.
The bill covers all mining operations, including “quarry operations involving cement raw materials, marble, granite, sand, and gravel construction”. These sorts of activities will not longer be permitted within the city boundaries of Davao, and their conduct will be considered unlawful. Considering the scale of Davao City, which covers a total area of 2,444 square kilometers, this will impede the destruction of a significant area of Mindanao’s pristine environment.
Currently existing mining projects in the city will be allowed to continue until the expiration of their contract terms. New projects are not to be expected, as the bill prohibits the government from issuing “new exploration permits nor enter into new mineral agreements or similar other agreements covering lands within the jurisdiction of Davao City.”
Under the newly approved bill, violators of the mining ban may face imprisonment between 6 and 12 years, and fines between P1 million and P10 million.
The Senate has yet to pass a counterpart measure.