Definitely no mining for Puerto Princesa–Hagedorn

MANILA, Philippines—Mayor Edward Hagedorn stands firm on his “no mining principle” in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan.

“Take a look around Puerto Princesa and you will see that everything there is worth dollars. Our forests are full of trees and the place is rich in mineral resources. Almost every square meter has an application for a mining permit. The problem is that permits require the mayor’s endorsement and definitely, we cannot give-in to that,” Hagedorn stressed.

Hagedorn said the center of his governance is on sustainable development, which is reflected in their local Environmental Code of Ethics. The code provides guidelines to investors so that the city’s natural resources are conserved even as it continues to grow and develop.

According to Hagedorn, the succession of mayoralty in Puerto Princesa after his term is critical. “We have to elect somebody who will not be tempted by money,” he said.

Hagedorn said, however, that in the end it is the people who shall determine the sustainable development and environmental protection of Puerta Princesa as demonstrated by events in 2001.

“When I stepped down in 2001, my successor deviated from our environmental protection program. So illegal settlers, illegal fishers and illegal loggers all came back,” he said.

After only about seven months of relinquishing his mayoralty seat, the local folks of Puerto Princesa clamoured for recall elections and Hagedorn won the polls.

“I sort of just rested for a year because our constituents asserted what they really want for Puerto Princesa,” he said. “See, even when I go and the one who will replace me disregards environment conservation, the people of Puerto Princesa surely know what to do.”

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