ACCORDING to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), the Philippines ranked as the fifth richest mineral country in the world endowed with non-metallic and metallic resources like gold, nickel, copper and chromite.
The Philippines became the home of the largest exported minerals after Indonesia banned its unprocessed export in 2014.
This had caused much impact over our country's GDP with almost 30 million leaps of economic development on the latest survey.
It is undeniable that mining took a big contribution to our economy.
However, mining remains to be a disastrous activity to humans regardless of economic value. The abuse of mining clearly shows how capitalist have severed our environment and the poor people who were gravely affected because of their lapses.
If the government allows to continue mining and quarrying, does this guarantee that our country will be a better place to live? In the aspect of the environment, how confident are we that there will be no casualties that will happen again?
While the Philippine Mining Industry continues to provide worth of existence as it proves to provide employment as well as growth in our economy, I firmly believe that mining is never a solution to provide sustainable needs of the people.
Hence, it contributed heartaches to Filipinos who have lost their loved ones because of the massive destruction of the environment that cause them death, an incident that brought back the picture of Itogon, Benguet and Naga City, Cebu.
Although it is undeniable fact that mining affects our world enormously, the Filipino people still ought to demonize its practice while constantly enjoyed the benefits. The endless abuse of digging Mother Earth came back to haunt us.
Mining, therefore, is not an answer to reduce poverty but adversely affect thousands of lives to suffer extremely.
According to Gina Lopez, the former Environment secretary, it is the government’s role to protect its people against illegal operations.
Now, that there were casualties, apologies if there are any, are certainly not enough.
What needs to be done are strict regulations on environmental policies to avoid contamination of natural environmental, erosion, destruction of ecosystems and pollution.
Although mining is important to our economy, our people need the environment more than ever as this is the basic needs for survival. At the end of the day, the life and the welfare of the people is more important than money and business.
What can we do to all of these gold that we quarried if there will be no trees to look at in the future, no clean water, all the rivers will be polluted, and all people will be wearing masks because of poisonous air?
For sure, what we will have are purely regrets. Isn't it? - Laurence Charl Cabusog, a first year Bachelor of Arts in International Studies student of the University of San Jose-Recoletos in Cebu City.