BLOG WATCH: MINING TO PAY OUR FOREIGN DEBTS?



[INQUIRER FILE PHOTO]

MANILA, JULY 12
, 2012 (BORACAY INQUIRER) Written by Gerry Roman Rate - MINING experts estimate that the Philippines’ potential mineral resources is reportedly worth P54.5 trillion, more than enough to pay the country’s large foreign debt.

But are we willing to just close our eyes in exchange for this fortune the danger and destruction it might bring in our environment and the community as a whole, as it might result in calamities and serious health hazards.

We have inherited the earth from our parents and grandparents who nourished the well-being of our future.

Therefore, we should do likewise? Or, are we so greedy and selfish that we don’t care for the future of our children and their children’s children?

To mine or not to mine, do we have a choice? None, since those minerals are needed by most of our industry.

But given such situation, it is not too late to devise plans and strategies in the mining sector for the sake of future generations and for a healthy environment.

We are caught up in the hopelessness of progress and development. While this is very much appreciated and accepted, yet along with these changing concepts the age of consumerism has set it.

People are becoming blind and deaf to the hazards of life in their pursuit for worldly pleasures. Greed has replaced need. In short, consumerism is becoming the new god of life. This is a great danger to the human society, especially to the local indigenous tribes.

Extraction of minerals closely impact other natural resources like land, water, air and forest and that areas in which minerals occur often have other resources presenting a choice of utilization of the resources.

It is necessary to take a comprehensive view to facilitate the choice of order of land use keeping in view the needs of development as well as needs of protecting the forest, environment and ecology.

Both aspects have to be properly coordinated to facilitate and ensure a sustainable development of mineral resources in harmony with environment.

Put emphasis on the need to address issues pertaining to prevention and mitigation of environmental problems like land degradation in open pit mining and land subsidence (the motion of a surface as it shifts downward) in underground mining, deforestation, atmospheric pollution, pollution of rivers and streams, soil erosion due disposal of solid wastes like overburden and so on, all affecting the ecological balance of the area.

A guiding principle shall be that a miner shall leave the mining area in better ecological shape that miner found it.

The mining law stipulates that as far as possible reclamation and forestation will proceed at the same time as with mineral extraction.

Mining company must recognize the importance of rehabilitation and resettlement of local host populations and convey that apart from compensation as an important aspect of the Sustainable Development Framework, model of stakeholder interest for the local host populations in the mining operation shall be encourage.

A mechanism must be evolved which would actually improve the living standards of the affected population and ensure for them a sustainable income above the poverty line.

They must lay constant worry on effective mine closure that not only addresses restoration of ecology and regeneration of bio mass but also takes into account the socio-economic aspects of such closure.

The land belongs to the people. Nevertheless, mining stakes holder be supposed to remember that they have a great responsibility towards the environment and the society at large.

Moreover, scientific mining will bring more profit to them, with minimum wastage and least damage to the surrounding areas.

*****

We learn to pray by praying. Don’t be afraid or self-conscious. God never ridicules our prayer attempts. Instead, God uses our prayer, limited and imperfect as it may seem, to connect with us, thus establishing and strengthening a relationship of love with us, a love that is meant to endure for all eternity.

Prayer cements this relationship and makes us far more receptive to whatever God may want to do in our lives.

When we pray our love of prayer deepen, our love of others broaden, and our love of God become more intimate. For love and love alone ultimately brings us to a healing place in this hurting world.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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