Thursday, October 8, 2009

Large Scale Mining

Some of us may be wondering why large-scale mining is known in development aggression. Is it because of the forceful entry and implementation of its policies and projects without the community free and prior informing consent? Truly, that’s right. Likewise, it is one of the ways of violating human rights. There’s nothing simple about large scale mining where inputs and wastes are thousand folds of the product.
Early at that time of their conquest of the Philippines, the Spaniards had eyed mining and the profits they could extract from it as a top priority (Scott 1977).But it was the Americans who started the large- scale mining operation in the country. However this kind of development aggression has a very poor record in the Philippines, as a result of the massive social and environmental problems it has caused historically (UNEP). In accordance with the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 which aim to globalize the Philippine mining industry, government and mining advocates claiming that large- scale mining is significant in getting minerals that we need for the industrialization where in fact, it’s contrary for those people whose living depended upon the environment. Moreover, damages or costs including displacement, threat to food security, pollution, diminished water supply, and competition for energy supply and distribution are more clearly seen in communities that are dependent on natural resources such as forests, agricultural areas, natural water irrigation system and where basics services are lacking or totally absent. Otherwise, according to Campaigns Paralegal, Bacongco, mining industry provides employment and benefits to the landowner and mineworkers but the reality is that it can’t employs and give benefits to the number of people displaced by large- scale mining in respective communities. In fact, workers in the mining industry do not enjoy the ideal employment wherein mine sites here in Philippines are already replete with labor unrest and disputes. Most common issues revolve around mass retrenchment, casualization, and health and safety.

Finally, there is considerable basis for the fear that more livelihoods of the people in the area will be destroyed than new jobs created by the large- scale mining. Rather, its disadvantages and negative economic and environmental pressures experienced by local communities all over the country have been all that many. Indeed, large- scale mining have cause more harm than good across a wide area of concerns- ecology, livelihood, health and human rights. Thus, potential benefits of this kind of mining should be compared with the harm that will come. Knowing how it developed, it appears that it brings more harm than benefits to the affected communities.

Posted By: Matimawa Aiza

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