Peoples’ Mining Bill?-A A +A
Questions that Matter
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
LAST Friday, July 6, I was fortunate to have a face-to-face encounter with the peoples’ Congressman Teddy Casiño at UNO-R when he presented his bill known as the Peoples’ Mining Bill to counter Philippine Mining Act of 1995. I said to myself, here is a person who is not dreaming of a utopia that is imaginary but is a very realistic person with realistic ideals and reachable goals in life for the common welfare.
Congressman Teddy has been in the forefront in fighting graft and corruption in this country. He has been branded as “leftist” for standing by the truth. Before he began his public life, Teddy has been working with peoples’ organization without salary or with a very meager allowance, yet he survived for he was always working for the common welfare and had set aside all his personal interests.
Mining has and had been criticized since time immemorial to be anti-people and anti-environment. Groups had staged protests and gave strong statement and convictions against the mining industry in the Philippines. Many groups have made studies regarding the negative impact of mining in the country and had presented scientific and rational arguments regarding such issue.
However, as we fight mining in the country, the mining industry continues to grow legally and illegally. It moves very swift that in a blink of an eye a part of the country has already been made into a mining pit. It is like fighting a wild fire that the more efforts are done to put it off, it continues to grow bigger. So, adopting a new strategy, it might destroy the whole operation soon.
Casiño and his group have used a new strategy by allowing the people in the mining industry to continue their acts but with a regulation that is pro-people and not pro-profit. The Mining act of 1995 has been passed to give the mining czars a way of increasing his profits. This time they will only allow a certain area to be used for mining and is allowed only a certain quantity to be mined. This will help protect our resources and will also help us to properly utilize the resources for the good of the majority.
This is a stand which is realistic and is for the good of the people. It is advantageous for it will generate employment in the area and will also utilize the resources properly and with responsibility. Employment, not only in the area of mining but also in all the other complimentary business in the area, will shoot up for many as people would go into business. It shall also generate income for the people in the area.
Simply negating mining in the country is not a solution but rather a very radical way of making a very utopia society that does nothing but only to care for the environment. Today, we are faced by many half-baked environmentalists who use environmental issues to further their personal interests. There are groups that in the name of environment protection have gained funds and even foundations that have made themselves rich.
There is nothing wrong with protecting the environment against all agents of destruction but what happens if the very people who are supposed to protect the environment are simply making money out of the environment issues. This is worse than allowing a certain portion of the land to be mined.
St. Ezekiel Moreno, St. Lorenzo Ruiz, Blessed Pedro Calungsod and Blessed Pope John Paul II, and Sir Faraon Lopez, pray for us.
Belated Birthday greetings to Tita Ningning Infante and Lola Harriet Divino. Welcome greetings to Tita Luding Infante.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on July 10, 2012.