in recent months, there had been rampant campaigns to stop mining in the Philippines especially those in Palawan. They say that Mining does not give too much benefit to the society as a whole but instead it imposes different environmental and health externalities. My take on this is that we should not totally ban an industry such as mining, because as what I’ve learned in my Econ 172 class, total ban is usually an inefficient solution since it is usually coupled with high costs and high opportunities lost in the process. For the case of mining, it is quite important to note that we are a very mineral-rich country and stopping mining would be a collosal loss in developing our countries’ mineral resources.
But I would not like to end there, I also call for responsible mining. Large scale mining corporations should be accountable to all the environmental and health effects of mining in their nearby communities. I also call for the protection of indigenous lands against mining operations, or more specifically mining firms should have a prior and informed consent from the tribe before using our ancestral lands and they must respect all the conditions agreed upon by both parties. We must also have strict guidelines pertaining to the extraction of minerals in a certain place and makes sure that part of the profit goes to development programs in the said area.
I definitely consider the merits of mining per se in the country, but on the other hand, I also condemn the current irresponsible mining activities in the country. We should help in disseminating information in issues such as these, because this reflects how we as Filipinos take care of our natural resources.