The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said the ordinance that banned mining in Davao City can be questioned in court.
Engr. Edilberto Arreza, director of MGB Region 11, issued this statement following the passage of the ordinance that will disallow all activities of mining of gold and other metals in Davao City.
Arreza said groups with mining interests could question the legality of the ordinance because of the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 that allows mining exploration, development and construction, utilization or commercial operation, and decommissioning or the final and rehabilitation stage.
“There is a national law and this could be used against the local law,” said Arreza, adding that “the local law is not supposed to overturn the national law.”
“Davao City could face a legal battle from the business sector and groups who will be affected by the ordinance,” Arreza said in an interview with 105.9 Balita FM.
He, however, said that the mandate of MGB is focused on reviewing mining applications and issuing permits. Earlier, MGB has expressed opposition to the ordinance.
The passage of the ordinance was hailed by environmental group Panalipdan-Southern Mindanao.
“This is a landmark legislation that could have a tremendous impact on the environment and the fight of the indigenous peoples against large-scale mining in Davao,” said Prof. Kim Gargar, secretary general of Panalipan-Southern Mindanao.
Panalipdan, on the one hand, reechoed their call for Congress to scrap the Philippine Mining Act. | JMT, NewsDesk