Gov’t should not crucify mining industry – by Tony Katigbak (The Philippine Star – July 30, 2018)

I cannot understand why the mining industry is being pilloried when the industry is one of our country’s biggest contributors to our economic development. In his third State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the Batasang Pambansa last week ‘Digong’ Duterte once again lambasted the mining industry. Let me now call your attention dear reader to my column over a year ago on the same subject:

“I would have to admit that I don’t understand why mining is now the center of attention of President Duterte. I admit that there may be some issues that need to be resolved or addressed in the mining industry, but I don’t think it should be the focal point of the government right now.

I think we can all agree that there are far bigger concerns that we should be putting the spotlight on — armed conflicts, infrastructure, education, fixing the traffic, international relations, healthcare, taxes, and the list goes on and on.

Don’t get me wrong; I believe that we should have keen focus on environmental protection and rehabilitation too. That’s an important issue that should not get pushed to the back burner. But I don’t think that crucifying the mining industry is the way to address our country’s environmental issues.

If anything, there are extremely strict regulations that exist on mining companies. There is a lot more that contributes to the environmental degradation than mining for minerals. I believed that the president won’t see the results he is hoping for by focusing on just one industry.

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