MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Tuesday he agreed with banning open-pit mining in the Southeast Asian nation given the environmental harm it causes.
He said he had asked Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu "to look into the eventual closure of open-pit mining."
"I agree with (former Environment Secretary) Gina Lopez that that has to stop sometime. But I'll give the mining companies enough elbow room ... for eventual change on the modality of getting what's inside the bowels of the earth."
Lopez banned open-pit mining in the Philippines during her less than one year in office. She was replaced by Cimatu in May after she failed to get the confirmation of lawmakers.
(Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr; Editing by Mark Potter)