In our 2nd semester for NSTP-Econ, although our progress has been slow, I have learned a lot and gained numerous insights from the out of classroom sessions that we have had.
First of all, on the shallower side, and less relevant side, on the first day of NSTP, when we grouped ourselves, a lot of my friends grouped together so largely that we needed some people to leave the group and find another one. No one was yielding and after a long time of silence, my friend and I decided to just leave the group and join a different one. From there I realized that sometimes you just to do things you don’t really want to do, for the sake of the society, and in this case, for the sake of the class. At first, I didn’t want the topic assigned to us, which was economic nationalism. Furthermore, we were only two in our group, so I had to make new friends since we needed 5 members. I wasn’t really the type who takes the initiative, but I just had to do it again.
We were then assigned originally to AER (Action for Economic Reform) but when we got to the office, we were assigned to an autonomous branch of AER, which was Bantay Kita. Bantay Kita is a group that advocates transparency in the extractive industries. Its goals are to make good policies and decision makings regarding extractive industries. Besides this, it also aims to maximize benefits from extraction.
We were tasked to research and know more about extractive industries and policies surrounding it. We were also tasked to contact Mining organizations in UP. From research, we found out that originally, mining industries were praised because it promised a lot of tax revenues and unemployment rate reduction. However, the actual numbers seem to be disproving these initial appraisals. Besides, the costs of the hazards these kinds of industries bring seem to outweigh their benefits. These costs include terrestrial destruction and disturbances of surrounding communities. From this, I thought that the mission and vision of BK was really approvable. I was in sympathy with their goals and I thought that even in our small way, we could contribute to the country. I saw the bigger picture of the day my friend and I decided to take the initiative. It was a step forward to getting involved more with our motherland.