The amount of unexploited minerals in the Philippines amounts to billions. It is no wonder that more people and companies are interested in profiting from the available resources; however, additional mining activities in the Philippines are detrimental to the environment and to society.
The Philippines is no stranger to mining. In fact, there are mining operations all over the country. Small-scale mining activities were prevalent, but large-scale miners are increasing in number. Both kinds of mining activities have grave effects on the country and its people.
Mining is a profitable industry and has positive economic impacts. It encourages local and foreign companies to invest. Despite being profitable, mining has a high cost, and it is the environment paying for most of it. It should be noted that land and soil disturbances are common. It is possible that contaminated soil in farmlands may no longer be able to support vegetation. Besides land, water is also affected by mining activities.
Humans may be the ones enjoying the benefits of mining, but they are not spared from the damages it brings. Society is indeed negatively affected by mining activities. Those most affected are the indigenous people whose rights are usually ignored by large-scale miners. Abuses are rampant because of the search for gold.
There will always be people and companies who will want to engage in mining activities, but steps should be taken so that environmental and societal damages caused by mining activities will be lessened, if not eradicated. The government should be the frontrunner in addressing problems caused by mining activities. Current mining activities should be heavily regulated and monitored; after all, mining activities can create a positive impact if done right. Until then, additional mining activities in the country cannot be accommodated. The Philippines is not yet ready.
Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide. (2010). Overview of mining and its impacts. Retrieved February 19, 2013, from https://www.elaw.org/files/mining-eia-guidebook/Chapter1.pdf