No. 915 Diocese of Marbel, Philippines 16 January 2017
- SECRETARY LOPEZ CANCELS 75 MINE CONTRACTS
DENR Secretary Regina “Gina” Paz Lopez cancelled last February 14, 2017 75 mine contracts. She said it is her “gift of love to the people in Cotabato” (PDI, 15 Feb. 2017, p. A9).
This includes the SMI’s $5.9B Tampakan Copper and Gold Project in South Cotabato, Davao del Sur, Sarangani and Sultan Kudarat.
This project will adversely affect people in these provinces and pollute six rivers.
It will threaten people’s health and food security as it destroys the environment.
Secretary Lopez’ decision is in accordance with Section 16, Article II of the 1987 Philippines Constitution: “The State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.”
Caring for our common home is mandated by Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter ‘Laudato Si’” (24 May 2015).
Above all, God wills that we “cultivate and take care” of His ‘garden’ – the planet Earth. (Gen. 2: 15).
Mining’s contribution to Philippine economy is insignificant. Ms. Solita Collas – Monsod in her column “Get Real” writes:
“Mining industry statistics (as of Dec. 15, 2016) show that the gross value added in mining averaged about 0.65 percent of GDP for 2012 – 2016, and that includes non-metallic mining.”
Exports? “The same data indicate that the mining industry, both metallic and non-metallic, accounts for about 5 percent of total exports.”
Employment? “The industry account for about 0.6 percent of total employment.”
She concludes: “Definitely not a mortal blow. And think of the benefit to the Filipino people, now and in the future” (PDI, Feb. 11, 2017, p. A12).
Let us pray for Secretary Lopez and President Duterte that they would follow the Constitution and obey God. We pray for the capitalists that they would consider the common good over financial gains.