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Speech on Earth Science about Mining

If I were a congresswoman in a region I would reject the offer that was offered in my region because all I know my
region only has the copper as their only resources and I wont take a risk to receive that kind offer for my region.
After all Mining has become a polarizing issue and whenever talks drift to this industry, unmovable lines tend to be
drawn, with each camp boldly championing their cause. But amidst these discussions, I propose that the ultimate
concerns of both sides can and should be tackled in unity. Mining for resources is inevitable. The resources we need
are valuable in everyday life. Such resources mined up are coal, copper, gold, silver, and sand. However, mining
poses environmental risks that can degrade the quality of soil and water, which can end up effecting us humans if not
taken care of and many of the damages are irreversible once they have occurred.

Mining and responsibility are inherently joined at the hip for good reason. The target of mining is wealth of finite
quantity that is usually non-renewable. The environment can be affected by mining activity, and communities both
proximate and remote from the mining areas are not immune to the changes that mining brings. Our environmental
and social ecosystems are profoundly touched by our actions and we must move with purpose, knowing full well that
our deeds breed lasting consequences.

The fears are real. However, man and science has evolved at paces unheard of as recently as the 20th Century.
The technologies we have at our disposal are impressive and all of these should be brought to bear so that mining
becomes a unifying issue, rather than a divisive one. Wherever mining shall be permitted by law, to miners of
whatever scale, it is important that we apply every measure and technology to ensure that the impact on the
environment is managed to acceptable degrees and that after the operations have ceased, proper rehabilitation is
undertaken.

Of greater importance, the gains of mining should trickle down to empower and improve the lives of those who truly
own these resources: the Filipino people. Though we live in an era where knowledge is fast becoming the foremost
commodity of value, minerals still hold a durable and lasting worth, and we should be able to use the gifts bestowed
by Providence to close the gap between poverty and development.

Certainly, the issue of mining is very complex, one that unleashes a host of arguments and statistics both for and
against its pursuit. At the very core are mining’s economic benefits. But these are not the only essential
considerations. The real issue is how mining can advance social justice — how it can improve the lives of not just an
elite few, but those in the middle class and most especially, our countrymen living below the poverty line.

At the end of the day, mining should help raise the economic bottom line for the average Filipino and allow him or
her to pursue a dignified and productive life. This is the context within which the future of mining must be shaped.

Ladies and gentleman, The Philippines has always had the potential to be one of the most viable mining sites in the
Asia Pacific region. According to the Asian Development Bank, the Philippines is the 5th most mineralized country in
the world and ranks second in gold reserves, 4th in copper, fifth in nickel, and sixth in chromite.

By our own government estimates, there are around 21.5 billion tons of metal deposits buried beneath our soil. This
includes nickel, iron, copper and gold. But for all the wealth that lies waiting to be unleashed for the benefit of its true
owners, mineral extraction has not been as great an economic driver as it could be. Ghosts from the past such as
mismanagement and fear and ignorance have all served to clip our wings, and deny us even the dream of flight.