However, home-grown communities along with the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are being concerned with the legality of these mining operations in the country. Many Filipino people have been questioning the implementing rules and regulations that allow foreign companies to have total control in the mining operations as well as the natural resources in the country. I am among those people who are wondering why our government allows this thing to happen in our environment. Although, I know that the government and the foreign investments give many advantages to the government in terms of different tax revenues every year. But the problem is the mining activities are destroying our country’s natural resources which are the main resources of basic food and daily needs of millions of ordinary Filipino people in the provinces. Aside from that, the mining operations reportedly caused many deaths and serious working incidents in the site. There is a great number of Filipino miners who met tragic incidents while working for different mining contractors in various provinces. This is due to lack of sources of income that led many men in the provinces to join in these kind of mineral hunting that takes longer years in looking for any valuable mineral that can be sold in the international market.
The significant effect of mining operations is very large among the indigenous people. Most lands in the provincial area are owned by ancestral families. And many stories have been reported that the Philippine Mining Act led to the mining operations even closer to the ancestral lands without any permission from the land owners. That is why many questions and doubts from many indigenous communities if there is any legality of these mining operations. Because they believe that they have the right on their own lands; to reject any actions and conditions that may greatly affect their everyday living as Filipino citizens. They still have the right to approve or not approve any mining application in their communities. And, if the condition causes them any inconvenience and deprivation from their normal way of life as well as if the mining application can affect adversely to their sources of income.
Many foreign investors are convincing the people to sell to them their lands for mining purposes. And since, the people are so attracted with the offer. Some of them grab it without thinking that they will later suffer the consequences of selling their lands and properties. More than that, there are many environmental groups which deeply concern on the entire effects of massive mining operations to the environment as a whole. In this connection, there are many calamities and disasters that happened recently; and many environmentalists strongly stressed that these disastrous happenings caused by various mining activities. Aside from the enumerated facts and findings about the awful effects of mining operation; it even gives way to graft and corruption to many government officials. There is billion of dollars financial agreement that involves in this kind of mining business with foreign contractors; and various officials in the government have all the options to take in order to give way this kind of operations in our land. Besides, there are tragic incidents that have been reported; conflicts in mining communities, with their mining workers, with the ancestral land owners and the worst thing is the extrajudicial killings.
I therefore suggest the thorough review of the Philippine Mining Act; because it seems that it does not provide any protection for our environment as well as to the human rights of the people.