MANILA, Philippines – Mining is the Pacman’s newest enemy.
Boxing champ and Sarangani Rep Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao is opposed to large-scale mining, Bayan Muna Rep Teddy Casiño said in a statement Friday, March 2.
On the same day, a showdown on mining took place in anticipation of a new mining policy that supposedly requires a review of resource contracts, tighter rules, and decreased tax breaks.
In a video message for “No to Mining in Palawan,” Pacquiao made a stand not only against mining in Palawan but also in the Philippines.
“Ang kalikasan po ay bahagi po ng ating buhay. Ang buhay natin is bahagi ng mundo. Kapag sinisira po natin ang ating mundo, unti-unti po nating pinapatay ang sarili natin,” Pacquiao said.
(Our environment is part of our lives. Our lives are part of the Earth. Whenever we destroy the Earth, our actions gradually lead to self-destruction.)
“Sana mahalin natin ang Panginoon at, siyempre, ang pinagkatiwala sa atin na mundo,” the boxing champ said. (I hope we will love the Lord and, of course, the Earth he entrusted to us.)
“Yes to agriculture and eco-tourism but no to mining in Palawan,” Pacquiao said.
For his part, Casiño referred to large-scale, open-pit mining as “a challenger that will make (Pacquiao’s) archrival, Floyd Mayweather Jr, look like an amateur boxer.”
“Open-pit mining is the most destructive mining method known to man. It is a method that allows the mining corporation to do a David Copperfield on a mountain. Kaya nilang patagin ito hanggang sa mawala ang mismong bundok,” Casiño said. (They can flatten a mountain until it disappears.)
He said it is unfortunate that mining is legal in the Philippines.
“The question that we have to inevitably face is this: Is open-pit and other large-scale mining operations worth the massive destruction, dislocation, and conflict that it produces?” the solon said.
Casiño, however, noted the importance of mining as well.
“We recognize that mining is essential to nation-building, but not at the expense of our environment and our people’s future and not for the benefit of foreign mining companies and the industries of their countries. Sad to say, this is the kind of mining that we have,” he explained.
Casiño said the anticipated executive order on new mining policies, which has created uproar among mining players, is unnecessary.
“We need a new mining framework that mandates the state to pursue mining under a clear industrial strategy that will judiciously use our finite mineral resources,” he said.
This policy can “make or break the industry,” said the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Ed Lacson in his opening remarks at a mining forum Friday, March 2. – Rappler.com
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