there is at present a mining-bashing movement in palawan, where a number of mines have started to operate. formerly there was only one: rio tuba nickel. now we have narra nickel, berong nickel, pgmc/citi nickel, and earlier coral bay nickel. more than 400 applications are pending, a few are under process for approval, and one may start soon. a few more are on the exploration stage.
now, the ‘environmentalism’ spirit is so strong in palawan anything that indicates meddling with ‘nature’ is anti-environmentalism. ‘nature’ here means trees and seas and forests and mountains and reefs and corals and more. we have been raised on ‘nature is beautiful as is, in palawan’ and that palawan has much of it we can hardly see beyond the status quo of everything. so we should not cut the trees down and catch the fish and cage the animals nor mow the grass…and certainly not dig the earth for the minerals it contains.
what are the reasons for the mining-bashing? the main ones are:
1. mining is destructive of the biosystem and the biodiversity and the natural state of things, because it will strip open the earth and therefore uproot the trees, kill the insects, drive away the wildlife there, and open the forests to intrusions of people.
2. mining can destroy the whole fabric of life of the indigenous peoples upstairs there by exposing them to the ways and habits of strangers, killing their culture and way of life.
now all these are okay in principle. nobody will contest that. the problem is that it is double standard, filtered, prejudiced, biased, bigoted and what not. it looks only at mining to bash and not other similar actions that produce the same results.
for example, why don’t they bash road-building? it destroys the ecosystem wherever it passes through because roads cut down trees; deprive animals, insects and others of their habitat; do not allow plants to grow back; strip open the mountainside; makes possible the intrusion of people into the area, and disturbs all the anitos and engkantos and kapres there. and when the cement and the tar in the asphalt lose their serviceable life, don’t they leach their chemicals into the earth, and alter the earth’s composition? but why is there no roadmaking-bashing?
also, why isn’t farm-making bashed? ricefields cut down trees; deprive animals and insects and.. ahhh, you know the drill. so why is there no ricefarm-bashing at any time?
then, why are house-building, or even subdivisions, business malls and similar things not bashed? they produce the same effects on nature and man, cutting down trees and plants, depriving animals and insects…et cetera, et cetera ad nauseam. why don’t they bash also their own homes and the supermarkets and the buildings they love to have?
WHY BASH ONLY MINING?
is it because mining grants the indigenous people a measure of financial capability, and also alter the life of the ‘underprivileged’ people in the lowland communities by giving them steady jobs, businesses and employment? and if those things happen they will cease to look up to the non-government organizations who espouse their ’cause’ because these ‘marginal’ people will then learn to fight for themselves and their welfare?
is it because mining ‘benefits only a few people’, conveniently forgetting that there are hundreds of workers and employees there who earn a living, and also support businesses and services that cater to the needs of these employees and workers, such as storeowners, farmers, fishermen, dressmakers, beerhouse girls and the likes of them? and that the bashers are not included in either group, and therefore feel left out, and take their frustration against mining itself, because they cannot do it against any individual, or they will be labelled deviants?
is it because mining is simply the newest subject to focus on by those knee-jerk environmentalists and the ‘spirit’ ? these ‘environmentalists’ went against the island-resorts built in north palawan sometime ago, saying these resorts will destroy the biodiversity and the reefs and the seas of the islands. but now shamefacedly agree they were wrong, because these resorts were the first to conserve and protect their own environments, which the so-called environmentalists did nothing about.
is it because mining pays, and pays big?
your guess is as good as mine.
the new news is exxon wants to explore for oil in the sulu sea. the sea is the space between the island of palawan and the islands of visayas in the philipines. it is where the tubbataha reefs are located and the main fishing grounds of palawenos. now exxon wants to try for oil in the area, and wishes to explore it. what are the implications if exxon succeeds in finding oil there?
1. we filipinos and we palawenos particularly wll be off limits there, as what shell did to malampaya natural gas rig in western palawan.
2. only the government and the biggest and most corrupt crooks in there will benefit from the extraction of oil, the taxes paid to the government wasted by the unscrupulous ones in the highest offices, as well as taken for personal requirements. we the small and ordinary citizens will be deprived of any benefits but praised to the highest heavens for our ‘natural riches’ and ‘incredible fortune’.
3. the americans will get the oil, the government crooks in malacanang the money, and we palawenos the heartaches and the possibilities of oil pollution. we eat the dirt they call cake.
4. exxon will get our oil so we can buy it from them at incredible prices with part of our money paid for the oil deposited in malacanang. hahahahaha.
5. the tubbataha reefs will be raped, or will be declared outside of palawan’s territory. perhaps it will be declared to belong to the province of batanes…
6. the oil tax will not be given to palawan as the site will be declared by the highest office as in the national –not provincial– territory, as if the national territory is not composed of provincial territories which is composed of municipal territories and barangay territories. look what they did to malampaya natural gas…
7. we will be very proud to ‘own’ the oil so we can be happy not to receive any benefit from it…
so what can we palawenos do? nothing. we are too diverse for unity; we are too poor to give it atention; we are too inured to government corruption as to be apathetic to anything; we are too uninformed as to be gullible. we can’t even give a damn about it.
this is my first blog. so hello world and welcome to tbdtbd925‘s eclectic thoughts and writings. excuse the all-lower case writing, i hate to constantly press the shift button to capitalize letters. since there are no automatic first-word capitalization here, let us leave it at that. anyroad, i will write my thoughts as i saw fit, and not to your style, so please bear with me if you wish. otherwise: otherwise.
the contents for this blog will be eclectic, but will mostly center on three things: palawan, fishing, writing, but not regularly in that order. you see, i wish to record my thoughts for posterity, and perhaps, when i am great enough, or my family would think so, other people may know my thoughts and opinions and think the same way, too. who knows? blogging is simply expressing opinions and thoughts, ain’t it?
okay, so for a start, i will open a new blog entry in another subject, oil exploration in palawan, my province.
- citibank credit card woes
- requiem for a beloved mother and president
- for my father, on FATHER’S DAY
- The Real Story Behind Araceli’s Name
- I Should Have Taken my Father Fishing
- My First Fish
- My Earliest Attempts at Fishing
- thoughts via a fishing vacation
- PCSD under DENR? Oh no!
- mining-bashing in palawan
- exxon in sulu sea
- Hello world!