We Need Stronger Mining Laws

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Families are suffering now: wives, children, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters. It seems like coruption for the sake of money, money and more money, no matter what it takes, is everywhere you look! Today, the safety of miners and their families is the least of the mining operators’ worries! These hard-working, but suffering or even dead, men were everything to their families, but no doubt, just a number to the operator. It’s sad that it can never be changed, but the health, safety and labor issues can still be made right by having stronger  legal mining activities.

There are generally two types of mining available in the Philippines:
1) Small Scale mining – Generally done with a group of 5-6 workers, this group travels from one mining site to another in order to search for valuable metals like gold. As people are out in the open with toxic waste, it has a bad effect on the health of the people and is even disturbing to the atmosphere.
Small scale mining includes two sub types:
A) Land dredging
B) River dredging
2)Large scale mining – Generally done by big corporations and uses lots of employees along with a big manual labor force. Large sites are taken by the company for mining and this carries on until the metal or mineral is entirely dug out.
The problem is that there is no bar. Unless local authorities utilize existing criminal laws to prosecute offenders, we will likely not see any changes soon. Unfortunately, we have little chance of seeing THAT. We need to do an environmentally conscious effort to prevent the corrosive influence of businesses on government regulators and enforcement. We may or may not need new regulations, but we clearly need to enforce the mining laws that we have.

The problem is that there is no bar. Unless local authorities utilize existing criminal laws to prosecute offenders, we will likely not see any changes soon. Unfortunately, we have little chance of seeing THAT. We need to do an environmentally conscious effort to prevent the corrosive influence of businesses on government regulators and enforcement. We may or may not need new regulations, but we clearly need to enforce the mining laws that we have.

Those that proclaim themselves to be environmentalists are no help either. As an example, there is still no justice for the 14 deaths and many injured by the landslide at the Kananga, Leyte geothermal complex. The workers were hired by JE/A Arradaza Construction, the subcontractor of First Balfour for civil works in the EDC geothermal complex. EDC and its general contractor, First Balfour, belong to the Lopez group of companies, which also owns the ABS-CBN network and where “environmentalist” Gina Lopez is a director.

Unfortunately those that proclaim themselves to be environmentalists are no help either.  Remember the landslide that killed 14 workers and injured many others at its geothermal complex in Kananga, Leyte. The workers were hired by JE/A Arradaza Construction, the subcontractor of First Balfour for civil works in the EDC geothermal complex. EDC and its general contractor, First Balfour, belong to the Lopez group of companies, which also owns the ABS-CBN network and where “environmentalist” Gina Lopez is a director.

This is not the first time that a Lopez-owned company has been entangled in environmental foul-ups. Here are just some of them:

  • The forest denudation and dislocation of flora and fauna at the EDC’s Northern Negros Geothermal Power Plant in Mt. Kanlaon, Negros Occidental
  • The fuel leak of the First Philippine Industrial Corp. at the West Tower Condominium in Bangkal, Makati City,
  • The reported desecration of sacred tribal grounds and illegal construction of a private resort at Sabsaban Falls in Brooke’s Point, Palawan by Bantay Kalikasan of the ABS-CBN Foundation, run by Gina Lopez.

Why is Gina Lopez remarkably silent when people talk about the landslide? Have they even offered to help the victims?

To be honest I’m beginning that the mining here in the Philippines is a lost cause . It seems to me that saving the environment is not even a priority of the government. It makes me sad since I have high hopes that my future grandchildren will inherit a better environment. Our children are our future, and what an awesome responsibility they will have in the next few decades. I dream that our children will be the stewards who will shepherd Mother Earth into the next century. For that to happen, we need to start now and we need to have stronger mining laws before its too late.

5 thoughts on “We Need Stronger Mining Laws

  1. It is so sad that the environment is being abused by those that only want to keep themselves in power, fame and wealth and then claiming they are advocates of mother nature preservation.

  2. I totally agree with you. It really has a lot to do with discipline too. Filipinos, for the most part lack this. I hope that people will elect better rulers this coming election. Hopefully, that will lead the way to a better Philippines. 🙂

  3. agree!!! mining laws cover not only health and safety issues, but environmental issues. proper implementation is needed for long-term rewards 🙂

  4. I agree that we have to strengthen the aws on mining, and instill to the people how important it is to take care of the enviroment. i hope the future officials will do something drastic about this.

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