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Floresta, Raimee Regine M.

2012-47281

Geography 161
Thought Paper 2

Mining and Minerals in the Philippines


Geographically speaking, Philippines is blessed with natural resources especially
minerals. Thats why, theres an abundant number of applications from mining industries from
different countries who would like to exploit these resources in our country.
In the case study about Placer Dome: Marcopper Mines in Marinduque, it started during
the regime of Marcos. This foreign company owned 39.9% of the shares in the Marcopper. From
1969 to 1996, the history of the Placer Domes negligence was still vivid in the minds of the
residents of Marinduque. They have suffered a series of environmental disasters when Placer
Dome oversaw the dumping of mine tailings in the Calancan Bay. Marine biodiversity was
disturbed and livelihood was affected. The health of the residents was also affected because of
lead contamination. There was a dam built to keep silt from a mine out of the Mogpog River. It
burst in 1993 affecting the livestock and crops even the shelter of the villagers. When it was
rebuilt, the toxic behind the dam overflowed into the river.
These series of disasters that happened in Marinduque is due to a lot of factors. First, the
greed of the Placer Dome for profit in exploiting the natural resources in the country. Second, the
negligence of the company to abide to rules. They did not consult the locals, local and national
government about their mining operations. They have failed to disclose information that may
affect the residents. Third, there was no Environmental Impact Assessment in the pits before it
was used for tailings. And lastly, the weakness of the national government to implement strict
rules in the company.
I think this is where the RA 7942 would enter. The series of disasters of that happened in
Marinduque has made the officials to make a law regarding mining in the country. In my

Floresta, Raimee Regine M.


2012-47281

Geography 161
Thought Paper 2

opinion, I do not have against mining because it can be our hope for economic boom in the
Philippines. Mining had made the lives of people better, without mining, we will not have any
gadgets, appliances, shelter, accessories and other things. Irresponsible mining is what I am
against for. Placer Dome : Marcopper Mines disregarded the impact of their operations in the
environment and to the community of Marinduque. It would have been good if the result of the
operations was for the benefit of Filipino but it was not. Instead of compensating and confessing
their wrongdoings, they opt to leave the country. Shame for them. I just hope that the law of the
Philippine back then was strong enough to punish these covetous company for destroying the
environment and the lives of Filipinos.
Companies who are now extracting minerals in the country should learn how to be
responsible. They should be responsible for their actions. They should know how to pay back to
Mother Nature like planting trees or avoiding contaminating the rivers. They should know how
to be responsible miners.