Senator Praises South Cotabato Governor for Vetoing Ban on Open-Pit Mining

By: Marcelle P. Villegas July 23, 2022

[Anti-mining protest against open-pit mining in South Cotabato (Photo credit: SAC Marbel, from Leila de Lima’s Official Website)]

Last June 3, 2022, Gov. Tamayo announced in a public statement his decision to veto Ordinance No. 23, Series of 2022 that was passed by the Sanggunian Panlalawigan (SP) (or Provincial Board) of South Cotabato last May 16, 2022. The ordinance modified the Provincial Environmental Code of South Cotabato and lifted the ban on open-pit mining in the province. [1]

In response to this, Senator Leila M. De Lima praises Governor Tamayo Jr. for his rejection of the ordinance.

The Senator has always expressed her disapproval and apprehension towards open-pit mining method. Being a social justice and human rights advocate, De Lima said she is glad that Tamayo listened to the appeal of various anti-mining groups to veto the amendments of the 12-year-old local environmental code which favors open-pit mining.

She posted on Twitter, “I laud South Cotabato Gov. Reynaldo Tamayo, Jr. in his veto of the Provincial Board’s lifting of the ban on open-pit mining in the province. Mabuhay ka, Gov.! Thank you for doing the right thing.”

In the recent past, De Lima made a handwritten statement where she requested Governor Tamayo to veto the Provincial Board’s amendment of the environmental code that allows open-pit mining.

The Senator said, “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. No person or corporation has the right to mine over the objection of the communities affected by it.” This was De Lima’s message from her Dispatch from Crame No. 1264 that was issued last May 23. [2]

Governor Tamayo’s announcement of his decision last June 3 was one day ahead of his deadline to act on the amendment of Ordinance No. 23.

“I am informing the general public of South Cotabato that Resolution No. 137, enacting Ordinance No. 23 series of 2022 amending pertinent provisions of the Environment Code of South Cotabato, is vetoed by the provincial governor,” the Governor said.

Senator De Lima believes that the veto on the SP’s lifting on the ban on open-pit mining in South Cotabato will protect of the environment and is beneficial for the people as well.

As an advocate of environmental causes, De Lima filed a proposed Senate Bill No. 1975 in the past that prohibits black sand mining in the Philippines, as she believes this is an environmental threat and endangers the health and livelihood of the people.



[1] Osano, Roel (3 June 2022). Philippine News Agency. "SoCot guv vetoes open-pit mining ordinance".

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[2] (6 June 2022). Leila de Lima’s Official Website.  “De Lima Lauds Veto on Lifting Open-Pit Mining Ban in South Cotabato”.

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