Sunday, February 12, 2006


Good intentions, bad consequences. Beautiful words, ugly results. Promising vision, despairing realities. This best describes the irresponsible mining ventures in the country.

And the CBCP once more cried for the environmental damages and disasters caused by large-scale mining in the country. It again pleaded for mining restraint in favor of the small communities oppressed and dislocated, the many families impoverished and rendered ill by irresponsible mining of the land.

And the CBCP is once more belittled and even lambasted infallibly by big mining interests in the country. It is again branded as pro-poverty and anti-development. It is further perceived as unconcerned with the pursuit of national economic progress as well as ignorant of advanced mining technology.

The CBCP may not have its technical mining jargon but it is in contact with the mass base adversely affected by avaricious mining. It may not have the academic know-how of mining but it knows the disastrous realities brought about by covetous mining. It is not ignorant of what wealth is drawn out by mining the land—as well as what poisonous dirt in fact is left behind for keeps.

Only in the Philippines: transnational mining corporations are allowed to encroach into 35 national conservation priority areas, 32 national integrated protected areas, 17 important bio-diversity areas.

There is the claim that the “Mining Act of 1995” and the “Mining Revitalization Program” are excellent in legal provisions and normative requirements. But the administration is not exactly known for the observance of laws. The Executive Department is favored by good laws on hand but also good for their non-implementation right after their enactments.

Business is beneficial. But it becomes destructive when it is exploitative. Profit is logical. But it becomes unethical when it is at the expense of human persons, the detriment of the common welfare—and the destruction of the environment which spells the lynching of generations yet to come. Just as the global market, even transnational industries should have a social conscience. Otherwise, the people they intent to help precisely become their victims.

12 February 2006