Editorial: Close the mines


Allow the land and environment to recover also. Allow the local economy to support its people better.

Studies made and proven reiterate that large scale mining for larger profit only pushes the Filipinos: the indigenous peoples, the women and us deeper into the abyss of being poor, disadvantaged, deprived and backward. And when a natural calamity strikes, the adverse effects doubles in a ravaged environment — areas over-mined, logged-out, or environs without the natural protection required. It usually is deadly.

Shall we help reduce the descent into a destroyed and dangerous environment, too barren to support our needs as people dependent on the economic support drawn from Nature? Or shall we just support the plunderers mine some more and we just be satisfied by their promises of economic benefit (for whom?)?

At a recent Congressional hearing on mining here, a town leader spoke out, we quote,

“… Ilocos Sur believes that 22 years of mining operations and disasters under the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 (RA7942) are enough proof that the law and resultant policies failed to promote economic growth and protect the environment.”

… “Our municipality reiterates our utmost support to Sec. Regina Lopez’s decision to suspend the operation(s)… and we appeal for tougher sanctions against the (mining) company. We declare that the river’s survival and our people’s safety are compelling reasons to close down (the mine company’s operation, and to cancel all other applications and permits to mine along the Abra River watershed, and ban mining in the coastal environment.”

The demise of the Abra River, the sixth largest river in the country, the rapid erosion of our shoreline, and deterioriation and contamination of the water table in both active and abandoned mine sites. All of these are happenning and shall continue unless mitigated. Congress must make a courageous decision and a decisive action, in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign for change to repeal the Mining Act of 1995 and uphold the people’s right to a balanced and healthy ecosystem.” (unquote)

At the minimum, town leaders, communities and people who matter can support proposals like this. # nordis.net


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