Not just a pound of flesh

Not just a pound of flesh

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) ordered the closure of twenty-three (27) mining operations for indiscriminate mining and conducting operations in watershed areas. As expected, the mining firms protested the closure orders ascribing grave abuse of discretion on the DENR Secretary for her failure to afford them due process before proceeding with the suspension. The Chamber of Mines complained that while the orders were announced to the media, its members have yet to receive them from the DENR. It claimed that the announcement contradicts the overall economic plan for the country. According to the association, the orders are a “surprise, worrisome, and irresponsible” (see http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/599189/money/).

Image result for 2017 impacts of mining in the philippines

Courtesy of the Asian Correspondent.com

Secretary Gina Lopez also ordered the cancellation of seventy-five (75) mining contracts. These cancellations effectively put across the message to mining firms that she will continue to clamp down their operations until they bow down to government regulations on the protection of the environment and the local communities.

The debates are far from over. Mining firms were reported to have exerted pressures on Malacanang and the Commission on Appointments, where Lopez’s appointment is pending confirmation, to stop her from hurting their businesses. It was reported later that certain Palace officials have cautioned her about the mining firms’ due process claim.

There is no doubt that mining has made our lives convenient. It provides us with many useful and wonderful things—from simple household and office tools to hard metals used in making equipment and erecting buildings for people and industries. Also, it is the source of government revenues needed to finance public infrastructures and programs. Thus, it is not easy to debunk the claim that mining is an important industry in the country today.

Image result for 2017 impacts of mining in the philippines

Courtesy of Alyansa Tigil-Mina

However, all the good things that may be said about mining are discredited by its setbacks to people’s lives and the environment.

That mining destroys the environment is beyond dispute. What the DENR saw before the issuance of the closure orders were conclusive evidence of severe environmental degradation:  destroyed animal and human habitats, barren hills, flattened mountains, silted rivers, and spilled chemicals in farms and waterways.

Related image

Courtesy of Globalriskinsights.com

That mining jeopardized people’s livelihood is too glaring to ignore. It turned timber and agricultural lands to wastelands. It caused severe flooding and landslides to lowland communities. It damaged fish sanctuaries and breeding places. It polluted the air and destroyed the watersheds.

Image result for 2017 impacts of mining in the philippines

Mining has become a harbinger of death instead of becoming a beacon of hope.

Image result for diwalwal mining disaster

Courtesy of GMA News.com

Proverbially, mining is cutting away not only a pound of flesh from us. It is costing us our lives. Its destructive impacts on the environment have become irreversible already. And thus, its catastrophic effects will still be upon our heads even if we adopt a total mining ban from now on.

 

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Courtesy of Asian Correspondent.com

We are screwed!

We know it, and the mining firms are well aware of this.

Image result for diwalwal mining disaster

Courtesy of Inquirer.net

 

Accordingly, suspension orders are not enough to finally arrest the menace which continues to deplete our land of all its living force. People need justice, not a temporary respite from its pernicious effects.

 

Courtesy of GMA News

If justice is to be done, then, the hammer should fall heavily on those who committed crimes against humanity and nature. It requires the accountability of people behind these destructive mining activities. It decrees that they should be barred from continuing to ruin the lives of the present and future generations. Most importantly, it demands that they should all be put behind bars and stripped of the privileges that they acquired at the expense of the common good.

 

 

 

 

 

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4 Comments

  1. Scientifically, there is a Law of Action and Reaction, in religion, there is Heaven and Hell (Christianity) and Karma (Buddhism) ; the 3 concepts stated are similar because all of them emphasize the reward from the good deeds done and punishment for bad deeds. May it be in a theistic or atheistic perspective, the point is “when we do something good, a good thing will result as well”. Conserving the environment will do no harm to us, instead it will provide us a healthier world to live. The choice will always be in our hands because we are nature’s stewards – and I hope we all make the good choice.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I wonder how people manage to do things that can make their home suffer and why is it okay for them to sacrifice our natural resources just to provide pleasure and contentment to people demanding it. I think the best decision is for us to conserve the environment not just for ourselves but also for the next generation.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mining poses incredible risks to life and to the community as well. Numerous accidents have happened and have affected thousands of people in our country, directly or indirectly caused by hazardous mining operations. The negative impact of mining to our society is immeasurable.
    In spite of all its triumph in the improvement of society, the mining industry continues to get a bad rap for its environmental effects.
    If no action is taken to stop environmental problems caused by natural or modern mining, the effects to our communities would be distressing.

    Like

  4. in reality mining is very helpful. it could give us more work for unemployed, and it could also give us more minerals and other things that we could surely use to improve our country. it is clearly stated in the article that “mining has made our lives more convenient”. it is very true. But we cant deny the fact that mining has a major setbacks on people’s lives. Mining and and digging could perish our soil. Many provinces perished because of mining. My province Marinduque is also a victim of mining. It is an island located in the middle of the Philippines and also known as the :Heart of the Philippines”. Marcopper a mining company invaded our soils and destroyed our natural resources. And when the damn blew tons of toxic wastes dispersed all over our island. And DENR is right to close all the mining corporations in our country. Lets say no to MINING!!

    Liked by 1 person

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