MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered a stop to all mining operations in Tumbagaan Island in Languyan, Tawi-Tawi, and directed the massive rehabilitation of the area.
In a virtual presser on Tuesday, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei Nograles said Duterte issued the directive during Monday night’s full Cabinet meeting following reports that the island has been devastated as a result of mining operations.
“The island has, at this point, been mined out. 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.
Nograles said more actions will be considered after more light is shed regarding the state of the island and the conduct of the mining operations in the area.
He also stressed the President’s commitment to preserving the environment, which is evident in his directives to ensure that mining companies comply with the laws, rules, and regulations that govern their operations.
“Since the beginning of his administration, the President has repeatedly stressed the importance of protecting our environment and strictly implementing environmental laws,” he said. (PNA)