President Rodrigo Duterte has suspended all mining operations on an island in Tawi-Tawi which has been “completely devastated” due to quarrying activities, a senior Palace official announced Tuesday.
Duterte is “very much concerned” about the state of Tumbagan island and directed government agencies during the full Cabinet meeting on Monday night to boost the rehabilitation efforts in the area, said Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles.
“The island at this point has been mined out. And while rehabilitation efforts are underway, the President is issuing a directive to stop any and all mining operations in Tumbagan island and to step up the rehabilitation of the area by planting more trees and other efforts,” Nograles told reporters in an online briefing.
“More actions will be considered as more light is shed regarding the state of the island and the conduct of mining operations in the area,” he added.
The Palace official noted that President Duterte prioritizes environmental protection and preservation, citing the chief executive’s order to rehabilitate Boracay island in 2018.
Tawi-Tawi is the southernmost island province in the Philippines located in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, sharing sea borders with the Malaysian state of Sabah and the Indonesian North Kalimantan province.