In this corner, we have Gina Lopez, NGOs, environmentalists, some religious personalities and Winnie Monsod. Oh, and the whole Lopez clan.
In that corner, we have the mining companies, its stakeholders, geologists and scientists.
Some quarters are painting this as good vs evil. Why is mining evil? If we are to believe the misinformed, we could say that it is anti-poor and anti-environment; it destroys the earth and… well, I don’t know how it is anti-poor.
Most people still believe that mining renders the soil and the water surrounding the sites uninhabitable and non-arable. It is not mining. It’s the minerals. Heavy metals make agriculture impossible. If surrounded by water, these metals prevent fisheries to prosper because the water will be uninhabitable.
So-called pundits also argue that the country benefits from the measly less than 1 percent contribution of mining to its coffers. Mining is only present in MIMAROPA and CARAGA regions. That is less than 2 pecent of the country. Context is important, as any writer or journalist worth their salt would know. What these pundits fail to account for is that mining impacts the income and employment of people wherever it is present–people who would otherwise not have jobs, let alone the income, as agriculture and fisheries are impossible in their area.
In this battle if perceptions, cold, hard facts and data are needed. The beauty of science is that it is always true regardless of how others may try and discredit it. While this post may not reach as many as Winnie Monsod’s, the facts and data will still hold true regardless.
Somebody please feature more scientists like geologist Dr. Caloy Arcilla. For unlike other so-called experts, they actually know what they are talking about.