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Gov Tamayo asked to uphold open-pit mine ban in South Cotabato

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Environmental group Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE) has urged South Cotabato Governor Reynaldo Tamayo to veto the proposed amendments to the provincial Environmental Code.

This was after the South Cotabato Sangguniang Panlalawigan approved Monday, May 16, amendments to the local law, allowing all forms of mining, including open-pit, in the province.

“Lifting the open-pit mine ban will allow mining projects to destroy life-giving watershed ecosystems within South Cotabato. The Tampakan mining project will destroy the Altayan-Taplan River ecosystems in the Quezon Mountain Range, while various coal mining projects are poised to ravage the Daguma Mt. Range,” said Leon Dulce, national coordinator of Kalikasan PNE, in a statement.

Dulce noted that the Tampakan Copper-Gold Project (TCGP) is among the largest untapped copper-gold deposit in Asia, estimated to bring about P295 billion to the government. The developer of the TCGP is Sagittarius Mines Inc.

Meanwhile, Social Action Center (SAC) Marbel, a non-profit organization, urged the concerned citizens to join in a “Solidarity March” to be held on Thursday, May 19.

Fr. Jerome Millan, director of SAC Marbel, said the march from Christ the King Cathedral Compound to South Cotabato Provincial Capitol will be “an appeal to uphold the ban on open-pit mining.”

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