Press Release
May 23, 2022

Dispatch from Crame No. 1264:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima on Open Pit Mining in South Cotabato


It was recently reported that the Provincial Board of South Cotabato amended their local environmental code to allow open-pit mining. This comes after 12 years of ban under two different national administrations.

Proponents of the amendment allowing for open-pit mining argue that the ban violates the 1987 Constitution despite the court upholding the order of the late then-Secretary Gina Lopez.

The negative effects of open-pit mining to the environment and communities are all well-documented. The air, land, and water pollutions brought about by these mining activities stay long after the mines are abandoned. The environmental fees to be paid by these companies will be pittance considering the fact that no amount of money can restore what will be lost due to mining. The community will be the ones who will live with the aftermath of the environmental degradation while the companies enjoy their profits. The people must be the one to decide whether to allow open-pit mining or not.

No person or corporation has the right to mine over the objection of the communities affected by it. On the contrary, our people's right to a balanced and healthful ecology has been authoritatively upheld by the Supreme Court.

I implore South Cotabato Gov. Reynaldo Tamayo, Jr. to listen to the people and veto the amendment. The ban on open-pit mining in South Cotabato must stay.###

(Access the handwritten version of Dispatch from Crame No. 1264, here:

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