Scientists warn of more flashfloods from SC decision on Mining Act

Community News & Features Dec 16, 2004 at 3:00 pm

WITH its decision allowing 100% foreign-owned corporations to explore, develop and exploit our mineral resources, the Supreme Court, as well as the government of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, is ignoring the effects of large-scale plunder done by these firms on the environment and the people.
“The large-scale plunder of our natural resources result in areas that are susceptible to environmental imbalance. Take the case of the flashfloods in Quezon and Aurora due to the recent typhoons, it was large scale logging that has contributed largely to the instability of the soil there”, said Dr. Giovanni Tapang, chairperson of the activist scientists’ group AGHAM, or the Samahan ng Nagtataguyod ng Agham at Teknolohiya para sa Sambayanan.

“Allowing the entry of wholly foreign-owned corporations in the exploitation of our mineral resources would only aggravate the worsening environmental situation in the country. These companies are already historically liable to the rapid environmental destruction done to our land”, pointed out Dr. Tapang.

On January 27 this year, the high tribunal ruled that FTAAs or Financial and Technical Assistance Agreements under the Mining Act of 1995 are unlawful. This would have had prevented a wholly-owned foreign company to utilize any mineral resources within a contract area. The government has targeted by foreign investors in the revitalization of the mining industry to augment its fiscal crisis.

“In reversing itself, the Supreme Court has sided itself with those who seek to sell our country wholesale. These companies are not mining the country for the Filipino people but it is doing it for raking in profits. The decision paves way for the surrender of our sovereignty to foreign interests. The environmental disasters these companies cause, such as that of Marcopper in Marinduque, have remained untreated and stand testimony to the rapacious character of these firms”, noted Dr. Tapang.
“In pushing liberalization beyond its limits, the government of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is whipping up the country stronger than the recent supertyphoons for it has succeeded in putting our people and environment in even more danger because of its treasonous sale of our national patrimony,” Dr. Tapang concluded.