Four Catholic bishops have called on the government to create a law that will impose a mining ban across the entire Mindanao region.
In a report by UCA News, the Archdiocese of Davao, together with the Dioceses of Digos, Tagum, and Mati is calling on lawmakers to revoke the 39 mining licenses in the region to protect the environment and public health.
“Denuded forests due to the logging activities, oceans filled with filth from the waste we excessively throw, rivers quickly drying up from quarrying.… These are an apt aide-memoire as we observe an unprecedented destruction of the environment now described as climate community,” the bishops said in a statement.
While the bishops have supported an earlier bill that will ban both small and large-scale mining, including quarrying in the Davao province, a region-wide ban would be better.
“While the [Davao] bill respects existing mining permits until their expiration, we assert that given the crisis we face, it must be revoked,” the statement further stated.
They said that drafting another bill revoking the licenses in order to preserve the ancestral lands of indigenous peoples.