THE Interface Development Interventions (Idis) lauded Wednesday the approval of the ordinance banning mining in Davao City.
The environmental group said that the development suggests that the city-wide policy is “one step closer in making the world in general and Davao City in particular a better place to live for the future generations.”
“Thus, we can proudly say, in Davao City, Life is Here!” the Idis said in its statement sent to Sun.Star Davao.
The 17th City Council on Tuesday approved on third and final reading an ordinance closing off mining operations in the city.
Section 5 of the ordinance states that “no approval shall be granted or issued by the city through its Sangguniang Panglungsod (City Council) to any person, natural or juridical, to undertake any and all forms of mining operation in any area within the territorial jurisdiction of Davao City, except rocks and mineral substances classified under the quarry resources.” Anyone found guilty will be charged with administrative, civil or criminal cases with one year of imprisonment or a fine of P5,000.
Even before the approval of the ordinance, Idis said that the strong political will of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and former mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio against metallic mining here removed Davao City from mining list of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) in 2012.
“Davao City has become one of the fast developing cities in the country and has existed without mining in the past. Thus, it will continue to soar and develop without the need of extracting and destroying its mineral resources,” the group said.
Idis said the existing national environmental laws do not totally conserve the environment as well as the ancestral domain of the indigenous peoples.
“This is not the real case in most mining infected communities-IP rights have been violated (surface rights and royalties are not given as enshrined in the law) and improper waste disposal leading to various water and agricultural contamination which affects the health and living conditions of the affected communities,” the group said.
They said although mining is considered one of the highest income- generating sources, it does not cover the fact that it is also one of the highest contributing factors in the destruction of the environment.
“The irony is that communities where mining companies/industries operate belong to the poorest communities in the country where high poverty incidents are recorded,” Idis said.
Idis also pointed out that mining contributes in the deforestation of the forest, affects/contaminates the water sources and causes erosion and sedimentation.
“We are duty bound to conserve and protect Davao’s pride. We do not want our children blaming us for having no clean air to breathe; no clean water to drink; and no green mountains to enjoy. A clean and healthful environment should be our legacy to the generations yet to be born,” Idis said. (Arianne Caryl N. Casas/SUNSTAR DAVAO)