AFTER “Oplan Itogon” of the National Task Force - Mining Challenge (NTF-MC), what’s next? The bigger question now is sustainability. The stoppage order for all illegal small-scale mining activities in the region has been a long wait and now that it is here, who ensures that the illegal miners comply with the directive?
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has done its part. In coordination with the AFP, PNP and Beneco, a halt in the illegal activities has been effected. The illegal miners were very compliant and only a handful were actually seen defying the order when the operation was on-going. Bad news for these “pasaways” as the wheels of justice will now start rolling to prosecute them.
The Oplan was meant to save lives and remove the “at-risk” populations to the dangers of landslides and rock falls. The abnormal heavy rainfall brought about by Typhoon Ompong that triggered numerous landslides resulted to unwanted death and destruction due to a “system” failure.
What system are we talking about?
The complexity of the issue now involves more than just the small-scale miner. It involves more than just small-scale mining. A declaration that most of the barangays in the municipality are critically situated in a geohazard area has raised more questions than answers. In particular, the vulnerable population highlighted are the elementary and high school children numbering to more than a thousand. A report indicating that the school buildings are constructed within areas very high/critical in terms of landslide susceptibility will require immediate action so that our children will not continue to suffer. When they are not in school, they will have to be at home. Unfortunately, their houses may also be similarly situated in critical geohazard areas (‘di ba, Benjie?). So what now?
A system is an assembly of components connected together in an organized way. The components are affected by being in the system and the behavior of the system is changed if they leave it. This organized assembly of components does something. This assembly as a whole has been identified by someone who is interested in it.
Work-based systems? Personal systems? The political system? System of governance? It seems we still have a long way to go... good luck!
“The journey is never ending. There's always gonna be growth, improvement, adversity; you just gotta take it all in and do what's right, continue to grow, continue to live in the moment.” ~ Antonio Brown
“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” ~ Benjamin Franklin