Who really benefits from the mining industry? (Part 3)

By Bernard Badilla-Toledo, Reporter

MEASLY GOVT SHARES

AS a result, former Comelec Chairman and mining industry analyst Christian Monsod stressed that the country gets “very little by way of taxes, fees and royalties, and practically none at all during the tax holiday period, very little by way of job generation, probably little net foreign exchange inflows, very little contribution to GDP, very little industrialization linkages.

Aside from the very little impact, Monsod argued the mining industry has not actually “alleviated” the country from poverty.

A FAILURE IN ADDRESSING POVERTY

Former National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) chief Cielito Habito at one time described mining sector as having the highest poverty incidence of any sector in the country with 48.7 percentage level.

This means that only the owners, executives and the principals of huge mining firms are laughing their ways to the bank while the poor and ordinary mine works and their families continue to languish in poverty.

In his study, Habito pointed out that mining was the only sector where poverty incidence instead of decreasing has even increased between the years 1988 to 2009.

Government data itself disclosed that the high poverty incidence in many mining areas such as in Palawan with 53% poverty incidence, CARAGA region with 47.5%, Zamboanga Peninsula has 42.75%, Bicol region got 44.92%, and the national level has an average of 26%.

Economic boom was expected on areas where mining business of large-scale mining firms were operating, but that was belied wholly by the government data.

The poverty incidence could not be hidden due to high percentage level.

SCRAP THE MINING LAW

ATM, Ibon Foundation, PCJM, Karapatan, Philippine Alliance for Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), and the Kalikasan People’s Network for Environment have different political inclinations, but they are one in calling the Philippine Congress to scrap the R.A. 7942 and other related programs since they only served to enrich the mining firms and not the country’s economy.

They argued that the MGB data and the 39 persons killed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and para-military units due to their opposition to mining were sufficient pieces of evidence that the members of Philippine Congress should decide to scrap the 20 year-old mining law.

The groups wanted a new mining law that will really help improve the economy, improve the lives of the residents in the mining areas, not destroy the environment, and respect and protect the rights of the people.

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Saturday, 18 January 2020
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