24 July 2017, Lagos – President Rodrigo Duterte of Philippines on Monday threatened to tax miners “to death” if damage to the environment persisted.
“The protection of the environment must be made a priority ahead of mining and all other activities that adversely affect one way or another.
“This policy is non-negotiable,’’ Duterte said in his State of the Nation address, his second since assuming power in June 2016.
The Philippines is the world’s biggest supplier of nickel ore and also among the top producers of copper and gold.
However, the sector contributes less than 1 per cent to the country’s economy, based on data from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau.
The country’s miners have been under fire by Duterte’s government for alleged violations that include building mines in prohibited areas like watersheds.
Duterte said miners have neglected their duty to protect the environment and to repair the damage done by mining.