Duterte stops mining in island in Tawi-Tawi

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    PRESIDENT Duterte has ordered a stop to mining activities in Tumbagaan Island in Languyan town, Tawi-Tawi following reports that the island has already been “mined up,” Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said yesterday.

    Tawi-Tawi is known for high-grade nickel ore.

    Nograles said the President, during a full Cabinet meeting on Monday night, ordered the rehabilitation of the area starting with the planting of trees.

    He said Duterte learned the island has been “completely devastated” due to the mining activity on the island.

    “The island has, at this point, been mined up and while rehabilitation efforts are underway, the President is issuing a directive to stop any and all mining in Tumbagaan Island and to step up the rehabilitation of the area by planting more trees and other efforts of rehabilitation,” Nograles said.

    He said more actions will be considered.

    He said the President is committed to the protection of the environment and the enforcement of environment laws.

    In 2019, the regional government suspended mining operations in the province to conduct an audit on the operations. Some mining firms in the province had been preparing to shut down operations due to depleted resources.

    Prior to the President’s directive, Sen. Christopher Go said Moro National Liberation Front founding chairman Nur Misuari last week raised some concerns about some activities in Tawi-Tawi, which he said Duterte promised to take up with the Cabinet. Go did not say what Misuari’s concern was.