MAC: Mines and Communities

Most harmful ConCom proposal

Published by MAC on 2005-12-29

Most harmful ConCom proposal

Letters - Philippine Daily Inquirer

29th December 2005

THE INQUIRER PUBLISHED TWO seemingly unrelated news items within a span of six days: the first, on the "Constitution" being proposed by the Consultative Commission (PDI, 12/16/05); the second, on the current fish scare in Rapu-Rapu, Albay caused by the Lafayette mine spills. (PDI, 12/21/05).

While the ConCom's proposal to scrap the 2007 elections is drawing the most heat, its recommendation to allow foreign-owned companies to exploit our lands and natural resources deserves equal, if not more, attention. For this proposal, which no doubt will include our mineral resources, will be the most harmful ConCom recommendation for our country.

The history of mining in the country is the same story that is being repeated, over and over, for years - a story that invariably leads into a disaster as toxic mine wastes spill into rivers and seas and destroy livelihoods and communities. Sadly, the recent spills at the Lafayette mine site add another chapter to that continuing tragic story.

Would it matter who is elected or not in 2007 when our lands are open for the taking by the highest foreign bidder?

What good is a parliamentary system when we no longer have control of our environment and natural resources; and when our rivers and coastal areas are dead, our forests gone, and our mountains disemboweled?

-JAYBEE GARGANERA, national coordinator, Philippine Partnership for the Development of Human Resources in Rural Areas (PhilDHRRA), 59 C. Salvador St., Loyola Heights, Quezon City.

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