THE CALL for a “total mining ban” did not convince at all the country’s top executive. Such a petition was brought out by the Civil Society Organization in Northern Mindanao during the first visit of President Benigno Simeon Aquino II in Cagayan de Oro.
The group has expressed apprehension that mining activities elsewhere in the country have been adversely affecting the fishing communities as it pollute the rivers, thus heavily contributing in the damage wrought to ecological system.
In a dialogue with thousand advocates of the multi-sectoral CSO at Pilgrim Christian College here, the President said that mining’s total shut-down is not just the only solution to keep the balance of the country’s sagging environment especially in Mindanao areas.
Pres. Aquino said a compromise for a heavy regulation of the mining industry would sit well instead as the abundance of mineral resources in the country would just keep attracting miners to dig in for a living.
“I f we remove the large scale miners, the small scale miners would normally come in,” the president said, explaining that retaining the large scale mining industry would have been more logical as they are the ones being “strictly monitored and regulated” by the government.
“The government will have a hard time in dealing with illegal mining activities with the influx of small scale miners as possible aftermath when we’re going to get rid of the large mining industry,” was his point.
( a reprint from the SUNSTAR local newspaper, by Nicole J. Managbanag, Staff Reporter, March 28, 2011, Monday issue)