17:04 GMT +316 December 2019
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    Miners working inside a mine tunnel at the mining village of Mt. Diwata in the Compostela Valley on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao (File)

    Duterte: Philippines May Suspend Mineral Resources Exports

    © AFP 2019 / TED ALJIBE
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    Philippine's president Rodrigo Duterte said that Philippine authorities should put a stop to the extraction and exportation of mineral resources for process abroad and importing them back to the Philippines.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Philippine authorities are considering the possibility of halting exports of the country’s mineral resources so that they may be processed into finished products within the Philippines rather than abroad, the country’s President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday.

    "At this point in my administration, it is possible that we shall put a stop to the extraction and exportation of our mineral resources for process abroad and importing them back to the Philippines," Duterte said, as quoted by GMA News outlet during the annual State of the Nation Address.

    Duterte also criticized the mining companies operating in the country for their negative impact on the environment.

    "I am holding all mining companies and its officials responsible for the full and quick cleanup, restoration, rehabilitation, all areas damaged by mining activities and the extension of necessary effects to the communities that have suffered," the Philippine leader pointed out.

    The Philippines’ mining industry produces gold, copper, nickel, chromite and iron. According to the country’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the annual exports of the minerals amount to $2.8 billion. About 236,000 individuals work in the industry.

    Manila is currently undergoing a campaign against the environmental degradation by the mining industry. Despite the significance of the industry for the country’s economy, the Philippine government ordered in February that the operations of 28 mines be suspended.

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