Mining companies in the Philippines have long been abusing the country. The oligarchs and politicians own some of these companies and have truly taken advantage of the system for many years.This is the reason that the Philippine government has started cracking down on mining companies who are not complying with government and international standards. I think that the closure of mines around the country is a very good step into cracking down on environmental abuse.
Alot of mining communities have been affected but most of these are because of violations and as many people have seen there are still mining operators in the country who have been properly complying with government laws and standards.
According to an Article in Philippine Star (link here) These firms have made over 82% of the profit for themselves and their company. They have not created opportunities for the communities they are involved in. There have also been mines that have been suspended due to violations.
Most of these sanctions have affected alot of workers in these mining companies however DENR Secretary Gina Lopez believes that area development is more important than short-term gains with mine that threaten the local community in the long-run.
So does the Philippine Government want to ban all kinds of mining?
I don’t actually believe this since there are still mining companies out there that have been allowed to continue their operations nationwide. These mining companies have been cleared of any wrongdoing and have been operating for a very long time.
An example of one of the companies that have not been sanctioned is Filminera Resources who co-own Masbate Gold Project with 1 other Filipino firm and a Canadian Partner. They have been deemed to be following the protocols set by the government. According to one article in Rappler (link here) Filminera Resources was not charged due to insufficient evidence that environmental damage is due to Filminera’s Mining activities. It has been junked by the court of appeals in the region of Masbate.
As you can see, mining in the Philippines is allowed and it is high time that we start sanctioning the people who have been abusing the Philippine’s natural environment. The message has been sent and it’s loud and clear: Mine Responsibly or Be Shut Down.