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UNIVERSITY OF SAN CARLOS

SCHOOL OF LAW AND GOVERNANCE

ENVIRONMENTAL LAW
Position Paper: Residents of the Municipality of Kalubihan
Affirming the Establishment and Operation of the Universal
Cement Corporation

Proponents:

Bollozos, Kaye Ruby L.


Cagnan, Dan Christian D.
Manlangit, Cristyl Allanie S.

EH 408
INTRODUCTION
Cement is known as the world’s second most consumed substance after
water. It is produced from limestone, shell, and clay and processed in a
heated temperature of more than 1000 degree Celsius. Cement is the main
ingredient in construction. Without cement, concrete construction of
infrastructure is impossible

As such, quarries and the limestone products they produce, are a vital part
of our modern life. Limestone, in its various forms, has been essential to
human societies for thousands of years, dating back to the days of the
pyramids. Without quarrying, we would not have stone, gravel, or sand
that is essential to the modern construction industry. It serves as the crucial
building block for many of the things we use each day including our
homes, hospitals, interstates, skyscrapers, shopping malls, schools and
many more.

Furthermore, it has been proven that quarrying and the cement industry
plays a crucial economic role to keep the economy going and for a country
to experience growth. This holds true especially now that the construction
activities in the Philippines are swelling. The growth in constructions has
been taking place alongside an increasing number of infrastructure projects
being undertaken by the administration of President Duterte under its
“Build, Build, Build” program.

Hence, the Universal Cement Corporation is planning to establish a cement


plant in Barangay Batoon, a coastal barangay in the Municipality of
Kalubihan. This project will not only provide essential materials but it will
also bring huge economic impact to the local government as well as to the
residents thereof as it creates jobs and generates income. In addition, there
will also be investment in social infrastructure outside of the immediate
sphere of operations. Often, this takes the form of partnerships with
national or regional governments or community organizations, so that
investments are targeted to meet the needs of local populations. This
project will also help to overcome challenges faced by low-income and
remote communities, such as access to healthcare and education.

However, while the economic opportunities and wealth generated by this


project are substantial, the nature of this industry threatens the
environment and it thus goes against the principle of preserving and
cultivating land and nature for present and future generations.

Nevertheless, these environmental impacts can be successfully addressed


and mitigated through the development and implementation of an
effective quarry rehabilitation plan. As the resources are progressively
extracted and exhausted, the quarry is progressively rehabilitated to bring
it back to a natural state.

The rehabilitation plan is usually determined as part of the quarry


approval process and often involves replacing the original topsoil,
reproducing waterways and replanting local trees. In fact, in some cases,
quarries are completely redeveloped at the end of their life into parklands,
sporting facilities, even housing estates.

Moreover, stakeholder may also be taken on board to contribute to the


successful development and execution of a rehabilitation plan. Continuous
communication and open dialogues with stakeholders play a vital role in
achieving a mutually beneficial outcome for both stakeholders and
operators. As development increasingly encroaches on formerly pristine
areas, we must find ways to work in harmony with nature.

And thus, we, as the residents of the Municipality of Kalubihan, present


our position affirming the establishment and operation of Universal
Cement Corporation.
STATEMENT OF THE CASE
The Municipality of Kalubihan has a vast territory with several
untouched areas. IT has undeniably rich natural resources but the
community has poor progress. This is why, most locals would rather risk
looking for a job in big cities since their locality has nothing much to offer
to sustain their living.

Fortunately, the Universal Cement Corporation wanted to establish a


cement plant in Barangay Batoon, a coastal barangay in the said
Municipality and the limestone to be used for the cement will be taken
from Barangay bukid in which the quarry sites will cover several hundreds
of hectares. Universal Cement has convinced the municipal officials to
support the project as it will be beneficial also to the community and the
people. It will open to several job opportunities for more than 1,000 people
from the municipality. They will also be building a hospital and school
which can be very convenient to everyone, not to mention the taxes they
will be paying.

This project is supported by municipal officials and several residents


since one of the problems in the area is the lack of employment
opportunities for its residents. They are also excited about the hospital and
school because the people from the municipality need not to go anymore to
neighboring municipalities and cities just to have access in these
establishments.

ARGUMENTS / DISCUSSIONS
The herein undersigned is in favor of establishing the Cement plant for the
following reasons:

1. Decent work and reformulation of sustainable economic growth

If we are able to support human well-being and alleviate


environmental degradation at the same time, then there is no reason for
conflicting views between economic growth and sustainable development.
Positioning economic growth as a constituent of sustainable development
necessarily and counterproductively narrows down the selection of means
by which sustainability is pursued.

Job opportunities and decent working conditions are also required


for the whole working age population. There needs to be increased access
to financial services to manage incomes, accumulate assets and make
productive investments.1 Considering the rise of economic growth in emerging
countries and demographic dynamism, more places are experiencing
unprecedented urban development. As Lewis Mumford predicted back in 1961,1
more rural places are turning into a cities. In 2008, for the first time in the history
of humankind, the number of urban dwellers overtook the number of rural
dwellers. Over 3.3 billion people now live in cities. The urbanization rate continues
to rise every year; according to United Nations’ forecasts it is expected to reach
59.7% by 2030 and 69.6% by 2050 (UN, 2008). This urban growth is particularly
strong in Asia and Africa.2 So long as prominent companies continues to
invest in a particular area, our local government units can collect more
revenues which in turn could be utilized for funding the completion of
various local government projects such as schools, hospitals and even raise
funds for the municipal disaster and risk management program.
Sustainable economic growth will require societies to create the conditions
that allow people to have quality jobs that stimulate the economy while not
harming the environment.

2. Economic advantages and promotion of labor to the people

It is but a natural effect that upon the successful completion of the


said project, employment opportunities within the area will increase,
generating jobs for more than 1,000 people addressing one of the problems
within the locality which is the lack of employment opportunities for its
residents. Moreover, the construction of a hospital and school would not

1
Economic Growth - United Nations Sustainable Development. (n.d.). Retrieved March 7, 2020, from
https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/economic-growth/
2
Boyer, P.-O., & Vicat. (2011, July 4). The positive impacts of a responsible cement industry. Retrieved from
https://blog.private-sector-and-development.com/2011/07/04/the-positive-impacts-of-a-responsible-cement-
industry/
only be beneficial on the part of the local government per se but would also
benefit the residents through direct access to health services and education.

CONCLUSION
Hence, sustainable development cannot be made as a hindrance of
economic growth, but rather a significant consideration for the success of
the latter. Environmental problem is not caused by economic growth, but
by the absence of effective public policy. There is nothing incompatible
with capitalism and environmental protection as long as the rules are in
place that control the environmental impacts of the products and services
we make and use. With those rules in place, a concern for environmental
sustainability can and will permeate everyday decision-making in the
private, nonprofit and governmental organizations we all benefit from. The
path to climate mitigation is not through slower economic growth, but
through economic growth that is steered toward environmental
sustainability and away from gratuitous environmental destruction.