DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/14 December) — On the same day that it effectively gave the green light for the controversial coal-fired power plant project of Aboitiz Power Corp., the city council made the initial step toward declaring Davao as a mining-free city.
During the regular session on Monday, Councilors Victorio U. Advincula Jr. and Paolo Z. Duterte proposed a resolution prohibiting open-pit and underground mining in the city. It was immediately referred to the committee on environment and natural resources.
The proposal, however, exempted quarrying for landfill and sand gravel purposes.
“The nature of mining processes creates a potential negative impact on the environment both during the operations and for years after the mine is closed,” the proposed measure cited. It added that mining could result in soil erosion, formation of sinkholes, loss of biodiversity, and contamination of soil.
Declaring Davao as a mining-free city is also needed to prevent loss of lives, it added.
In April this year, 14 persons died in a landslide at a small-scale mining area in Panganason-B, Barangay Kingking, Pantukan, Compostela Valley.
“To date, none of the mining companies that operate in the country have (also) owned up to the responsibility and effectively rehabilitated the devastated environment,” the proposed resolution further said.
Two provinces in Mindanao, South Cotabato and Zamboanga del Norte, have passed ordinances that ban open-pit mining.
Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio had also called on the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and MGB to keep mining out of the city especially in Paquibato and Marilog except quarry operations allowed by the city government.
“I have already declared that mining is out of the question as it will bring more problems than solutions, and we can learn a lot just by a cursory examination of local government units with mining areas,” she said in her second State of the City Address. (MindaNews)