OPINION: What is at stake

Teddy Locsin Jr.

Posted at Mar 29 2017 11:46 PM

Through a grueling 8-hour grilling Gina Lopez stood her ground and some, giving better than she got. So much so the chairman stopped her counter-fire to a prepared statement against her from the Chamber Pot of Mines. She was wiping out its position with withering fire of logic and experience.

To be sure there has always been mining, and it has benefited countries. Just not ours. 

And while one may give the irresponsible more time to change, they have been at it for 45 years. That’s a bit too much. 

Time to crack down. 

The Roman Empire was built on mining but Romans hammered metal into swords. The United States became a world power by mining and exploiting other minerals but only because what Americans dug or pumped up they made into artillery, battleships and bullets. Mining and drilling is why America became the Arsenal of Democracy in 3 world wars—2 hot, one cold. 

In political programs to empower powerless countries—like Germany before the battle of Sedan where she beat the French shitless; Japan after Perry who scared her the same way; or to resurrect dead empires like China—the first order of business is more efficient mining.

But if all you do is dig up and ship out, you weaken the country and destroy future generations. 

Mining alone is a zero-sum game. All gain for miners, zero for people. Where you find places with a lot of mining yet also the least poverty, as Migz Zubiri pointed out, it is not because of mining but the ingenuity of people creating wealth by other means, like farming, fishing, trade and tourism. 

But, yes, mining, like driving cars made of metal—though increasingly of plastic—is necessary. 

But it depends on how it is carried out and for what purpose.

Pure extraction, no. 

Mining with processing, yes. 

Mining with national industry, even better. 

Mining to make a neighboring power strong, no. 

Big time mining with money to repair the damage, yes. Purely extractive small-time mining financed by Chinese money, no. 

Gina should moderate her language but never we hope her stand. What is at stake in the confirmation of Gina Lopez (bypassed but not rejected) is not the future of a very rich girl that the chamber of mines cannot buy—but any future at all for country and posterity.

Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.