February 23, 2017 / 6:42 AM / 6 months ago

Philippines' minister says Duterte agrees with ban on mining in watershed areas

MANILA, Feb 23 (Reuters) - The Philippines' environment minister on Thursday said that President Rodrigo Duterte had supported her decision to bar mining in watershed areas at a meeting earlier this week.

"He said, 'I agree with you. Don't worry, you are my cabinet secretary and I also believe that there should be no mining in watershed,'" Regina Lopez told reporters at a briefing, recalling her meeting with Duterte on Monday.

Lopez on Monday told Reuters she's standing by her decision to shut or suspend 28 of the country's 41 operating mines for environmental infractions, despite complaints from the mining industry. Many of them were located in watershed zones, she said.

Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Writing by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell

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