Gacad: Info gap

Ziggy Zaggy

NOW that the miners are in town, it is going to be another memorable gathering for members of the Philippine mining industry as they celebrate 65 years of responsible mining.

Various events lined up in the next four days will usher in a test of partnership and unity for the very controversial, yet very important, Philippine minerals development sector.

With the present administration issuing stern warnings left and right, the mining industry continues to institute reforms that will hopefully adhere to global standards of sustainability. But it is not going to be that easy. The sector must sing one song and dance together as one.

When President Rodrigo Duterte announced that he may put a stop to open pit mining because it destroys the environment, and then directs us to what is happening in Diwalwal, there is a very big problem there.

First off, the mining operations in Diwalwal, as far as I know, are not open pit mining operations. If the President equates open pit mining to small scale mining, then there exists a huge information gap.

Tatay Digong may not be properly informed of the difference between responsible large-scale mining and illegal small scale mining. Or maybe, the difference between large- and small-scale mining altogether. This is where the responsible miners cry foul.

Tragedies in mining areas, commonly found in illegal small scale mines, including environmental degradation that is very visible in these illegal and irresponsible operations, unfairly point to the whole mining sector as the culprit without even giving a distinction if it is large or small. Kapag sinabing mining, lahat na ng mining damay!

Who has the responsibility to inform him? Who should inform the public? This is where true partnership is needed. Sometimes, or most of the time, mining companies speak about their accomplishments and accolades. We are this, we are that. We do these, we do that. Nagbubuhat ng sariling banko.

Even when ten companies do the right thing, if one irresponsible miner makes a mistake (it doesn't matter if it is large or small, basta mining), then the whole industry is pictured as negative and irresponsible.

If one policeman is a ninja cop, is the whole police force bad? Syempre hindi, 'di ba? (Cardo, ayusin nyo raw 'yung script) If one priest is caught not walking his holy and sacred vows, does that mean all priests are perverts? Of course not! But why is it that when something unwanted happens in the mining sector, the whole industry is labelled as bad? Ang sabi ng apo ko, madaya ka, madaya ka!

The miners gather every year in Baguio City. Good choice to cool down and chill. But are they preaching to the choir? It appears to be.

I hope the miners revisit their communication and advocacy strategies. People in Luzon should take pride and talk about responsible miners in Mindanao. Those in Mindanao should take pride and talk about responsible miners in Visayas, etc., etc., etc. Kasi kung may pumalpak na kahit isa lang, lahat ng minero sasabihing irresponsable!

Congratulations to the awardees of the 65th edition of the annual awards. Good luck to the competitors in all the sports and field events.

Congratulations to the hardworking event runners (kahit binabawasan ng budget si parekoy, haha).

Stop preaching to the choir. Talk to those who need enlightening. Show the world, and this government, that the Philippine mining industry is one responsible mining industry. Don't quarrel with the small miners, help them and show them how it should be done. Refocus your IEC plans outside of the industry members. Be open-minded. Magpakatotoo kayo, tayo!

Oh, dba? Practice lang ang mga statement na 'yan para sa future speech ko hohoho.....

Mabuhay and responsableng industriya ng pagmimina sa Pilipinas. PUSO! (at utak, dba Jonathan?).

“The worst distance between two people is misunderstanding.”

“More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren't so busy denying them.”


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