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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 8:56 am 
thanks tago admin for posting this site at cantilan.net.
i am very impressed with your website, well done.

perhaps, let me return the favour by asking your followers to have a peek at Cantilan.net and partake in some of the heated discussions, most especially the bothering proposed mining in caraga region, i am sure this is one major issue which would affect the regions day-to-day existence.
our actions now will surely determine tomorrow's fate..

here's an exceprt of one of the articles posted at cantilan.net.

'MINING your own Business'
by: ROD@OZ

I used to sat by the sea wall listening to the sweet music of waves bouncing back and forth, enjoying the pelting of marbles to make 'talipsay' or just simply have a stroll by the sea shore to enjoy the lukewarm water at a knee high and most significantly the loving scent of the southerlybreeze instantly makes you feel good inside! What a beautiful thing to reminisce!

Now, with looming adversity of the proposed MINING at CCMCL, i can only hope that i could still perform the above without fear of contracting something beyond comprehension. The fresh breeze would still carry that familiar scent and we could have a dip at any point of the long beautiful stretch of the Lanuza bay whenever without further hesitation and mountains would be as green with flourishing wildlife.

If you follow the threads of the MINING topic at Cantilan discussion board, one may wonder why on a sudden twist of fate i reversed my strong advocacy into completely opposed to the idea of mining and a lot of you I presume are surprised about my sudden decision..

Let me tell you why, I happen to be watching Special Assignment via The Filipino Channel (TFC) and one of the segments tackled was the MINING aftermath at Marinduque. My heart melted upon witnessing the agonizing suffering of the locals and the destruction it created. I must admit I am for massive and rapid advancement of economy but if progress brings heaps of suffering then this doesn't make sense at all. Moreso, if the locals start to have deceases beyond grasp then the promise of prosperity it creates would become futile if the majority of the inhabitants are ailing. Furthermore, that lovely "Lanuza Bay" we all grow to love and adore would be endangered pretty much, its living organism will evaporate and the booming tourism industry will likewise disappear.

Beloved CCMCL make this issue your own business therefore act, support and be part in preserving the environment for our future generation. I know we have a titanic task ahead of us if we are to block the MINING completely out of CCMCL hence, our solidarity and utmost cooperation is a MUST. Let us exert all possible effort and join hand in hand in halting this endeavour. Let us all gather and rally behind this great cause in a magnitude act of defiance!

thanks everyone and have a wonderful day..


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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 12:14 pm 
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hi.

i remember visiting the cantilan.net by accident last year. i was googling the net for my articles and one of the hits was cantilan.net. when i clicked it, there it was: my article, published by the philippine daily inquirer, entitled "the lingual quirks of surigao del sur." though at first i was vexed knowing it had my email address and yet i was not asked if it was ok to print it, but then i thought: what the heck, it's for surigao del sur!

and so, i wrote the administrator, telling him to edit my article because there was some errors that were not found in the original article. and of course, i commended him for the nice site, offering that i have some articles about the carcanmadcarlan area that he could print if he wanted to.

i used to visit the site regularly until i noticed it was not updated as often as it should be.

here's hoping it will not happen to tagosds.org

welcome to tagosds.org

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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 10:19 am 
If I may solicit Tago-anons stance on Mining Issue, are you in favour or opposed? Let us hear your sintements...

Cheers and have a nice day.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 1:13 pm 
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Rod@OZ wrote:
If I may solicit Tago-anons stance on Mining Issue, are you in favour or opposed? Let us hear your sintements...

Cheers and have a nice day.


In my opinion:

Mining Creates Jobs and finish Unfinished Infrastructure.In these tough economic times, we need to encourage business development that creates jobs in our community. Mining does just that, employing more a thousands unemployed newly graduates without going abroad and sacrifice being alone while there families are not united with them. And it's high paying jobs. Mining's economic impact benefits the entire community. And it has a Responsible for an economic impact of more billion of pesos each year. Mining affects the local community directly through job creation at the mine and indirectly with the creation of new business to serve the mining industry. Also, workers who earn a higher wage help to spur economic growth in their community.
On Unfinished Infrastructure it helps us to finish buying locally product like metal, cement, or more. And more roads and cities would be united easily. The Electricity can give us a lower rate if we used a coal Power Plant. On can goods it helps us to cheaper cost since the packaging cans are more improve than Plastics. And more Government Project Unfinished would be finish as soon as possible and people can start-it to use it to generate incoming money for the government.

So let's stop revolting due to environmental issue and start to operate so our newly born babies have future. And these would be the only answer for our people to save them on Poverty and Hunger….

To Environmentalist,
Why do you have solution for people anger of death because of unemployed and high cost of living? Can you save them on Hunger and Poverty? And if No then act now before our newly babies would be the next suffer on these high cost of living we have.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 1:21 pm 
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mining companies actually help build infrastructure around mining sites for easy access purposes. also, foreign companies are more likely to follow international standards for they have the resources to do so.

let's give mining a chance.


Last edited by wadibogz on Tue May 10, 2005 2:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 1:29 pm 
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Wow! this is a hot topic...i'll be transferring this topic to "Let's Debate Category"

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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 2:17 pm 
It's nice to see some of you voiced out what thought is just and right about this issue. Let me remind each and everyone that this is a forum which everyone is entitled to his/her opinion and should be respected regardless of their belief.

I certainly encourage everyone to partake in this lively discussion after all it is us dwelling in caraga region who'd be affected should the proposed mining takes off.

I understand the monetary contributions and the employment is creates should we allow the mining to occur in our towns yet are we ready to face the consequences this mining brings? Or are we aware of the environmental impacts of this business creates?

Yes, it is rather easy to to be blinded by the promise of prosprerity this business brings, however, to cite few samples of those places being mined for decades we have not really witnessed tremendous change in these communities and in their lifestyle yet it only left nothing but destruction and unending suffering and hearteaches to its inhabitants.

Furthermore, can we really trust the politicians to handle this vast amount
of revenues? I am not saying all politicians are corrupt but according to the recent survey the philippines is ranked as being the second most corrupt in Asia, i need not to elaborate further.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 5:24 pm 
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Letting foreign inverstor to dig in the country vast minerals will benefit a portion of filipinos and the government. We are so desperate to earn bucks but what will be the aftermath of savaging land natural resources from 10,20,30,40 years from now. We should learn from the last mining company the results of irresponsible company never pays for their crimes. If we decided to go on with this mining business we need to put a stringent laws to ensure this mining companies will follow the rules and will have a hefty fines for any violations will occur. Lets protect our citizen from abuse and negligence.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 5:56 pm 
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Yes, Mining might be an alternative to boost our economy but not a solution to a real problem. The issue of reviving the mining industry is tantamount to a scenario that Government entered into a contract as an assasin. The contract price is P640 Billion (the projected income for mining) in exchange to assasinate the nature. A fraction of the projected 640 billion would be good yes but at what cost? Mining entails danger: Ores are processed before export. Processing plants fume sulfur and dump mercury in rivers.

You guys may see a lot of jobs generated but I see a lot of patients dying. And these are just the miners. How about their family? How about those who live in the area? You know who are the people live in this area? these are our fellow tagon-ons, surigaonons, our families. Surigao Del Sur is the prime target for mining investors.

Well, environmentalists aren't just fighting for the environment. When they say they are fighting for the welfare of the people, they mean they are fighting for everybody.

I just hope all the revenue, the dollars that will be generated that you are all talking about is worth all the trouble of putting people's lives at stake.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 9:30 am 
Perhaps you may have the notion that i am connected with any of the environmental agencies due to my strong environmental advocacies and strong opposition of blocking the Proposed Mining in Caraga region, well i am definitely not, my sole purpose of contradicting this endeavour is potential desater and/or spillage of mine tailings in our beautiful ocean beds which is a catastrophe waiting to happen in our beloved area. Bonsal is right, the effects of mining will result in vast deseases beyond grasp hence the income derived working as a miner would be insufficient to cover the medical bills and how about the other members of our beloved respective families, are we willing to sacrifice and risk the health of the populace just to be able earn extra bucks?

Think hard, the Caraga region will not be definitely the same if we permit the Mining to take place, we may not be even too excited to visit or go back home in not so distant future due to fear of contracting
something beyond comprehension.

Should we really want this to occur at the expense of our beloved towns and families?

How aboout the booming prospect of tourism in Surigao del Sur, this might be a thing of the past if we don't act now. Do you think the tourist will flock our towns if there are health hazards looming in our environs.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 9:39 am 
Mining's Problem With Waste:

Safe disposal of mine waste, including tailings, is generally recognized as the single largest environmental challenge facing the mining industry worldwide and a major expense for mining companies.

Modern open-pit mining has a very high waste-to-product ratio (roughly 99 tonnes of waste to each tonne of copper, and even far more waste in gold mining), making waste the major product of mining. The Canadian mineral industry generates about 650 million tonnes of waste per year.1 The storage of this waste poses significant engineering challenges. All over the world, tailingsdams are leaking, or breaking, and seeping toxins on a daily basis; but recent environmental and social disasters in Romania, Guyana, Spain, and the Philippines—caused by tailings-dams that burst—have served to focus public attention on this problem.

Mine waste poses an environmental threat not only through its volume but also because of its toxicity. Mine tailings commonly contain sulfides as well as metals—such as cadmium, copper, iron, lead, manganese, mercury, silver, and zinc—that occur naturally in the ore body. When sulfides in the tailings are exposed to air they oxidize. If oxidized tailings come into contact with water, environmentally toxic sulfuric acid is produced. This process is known as Acid Mine Drainage (AMD). The sulfuric acid also accelerates metal leaching in tailings. Acid Mine Drainage can have a toxic impact on ground and surface water around mines. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, water contamination from mining poses one of the top three ecological security threats in the world.

Submarine Tailings Disposal

What is STD?
STD is Submarine Tailings Disposal - the disposal of dangerous mine waste into the ocean. This waste disposal is polluting coastal environments at several operating STD mines in the Asia Pacific. It has been imposed on a number of communities in the region without their informed consent.

What are tailings? Tailings are simply mining waste. In a typical metal mining operation, tailings consist of crushed rock and ore, after most of the target metals have been removed. Mine tailings are often toxic, and if not contained, are harmful to the environment.

In STD, mines pipe their tailings to the ocean, then run another pipe out into coastal waters, where the tailings spill out over the sea floor, and may disperse in coastal currents. Off the island of Sumbawa in Indonesia, an enormous pipe releases 160,000 tons of tailings per day into coastal waters.

STD is used more and more by mining companies from rich countries in their operations in poorer countries, where they can often get around environmental restrictions and are not accountable to local communities. STD is effectively illegal in the USA, Canada and Australia. The world's biggest mining companies like Newmont, Placer Dome, Rio Tinto and BHP are based in these wealthy countries. Yet these same companies are operating or planning STD at mines throughout the Asia-Pacific region that would clearly not be permitted in their own countries.

STD costs less than land-based disposal because it does not require the construction of dams or long-term responsibility for the effects of tailings. As far as the mining company is concerned, once the waste is released into the sea, it is "out of sight, out of mind".

STD is being promoted by the mining industry as the safest method of getting rid of its wastes. Affected communities in Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea and elsewhere don't believe this. Their lives depend on the coastal waters, and they report that mining companies dumping waste in the ocean have hurt their livelihoods and their health.

There are few independent laboratory or field studies into the environmental impacts of STD. Most of the information which does exist about STD is written by or for the mining companies using the technique. In addition to this, companies often refuse to release the information to the public.

Mine waste on the loose

The aim of an STD operation is to have the tailings travel from the mouth of the underwater pipe in a continuous current to the sea floor. That's the theory. In practice, it is inevitable that substantial quantities of mine waste will separate from the main tailings flow and form plumes of waste that will spread out across the ocean. Different currents can carry these plumes into surface waters. The mine waste that reaches the sea floor doesn't necessarily stay there. It is almost certain that deepsea currents will move tailings away from the disposal area. Deep-sea storms and turbulence can stir settled waste up. But the most serious problem is related to upwelling. Upwelling is the term used to describe the movement of deep ocean water to the surface of the sea. This usually occurs along the coastline, and under normal circumstances is one of the most productive marine processes because it provides food, for fish and other animals. Upwellings are often the site of the best fishing. Unfortunately, upwelling can also bring mine waste back to the surface of the ocean, where it is most dangerous to marine life.

Smothering

A major deep-water impact of STD is typically the smothering of hundreds of square kilometers of seafloor under hundreds of millions of tons of tailings. The exact impact of this in many operations can only be guessed, since proper scientific research has not been done. But miners admit that those sea floor organisms which don't simply die from being buried under mine waste will instead become contaminated with toxic metals to an unknown extent. Miners dismiss these organisms as unimportant since they live deep under the sea. But these animals form part of the ocean's food chain, and more mobile predators that feed on them can carry the toxic metals further afield and upwards, acting as a biological "pump" mechanism to bring contamination to shallower waters.

Fisheries

People living on the coasts of the archipelagos of Southeast Asia and the South Pacific depend on the sea for their livelihood. STD has been linked to toxic contamination in fish and eventually deters them from entering dumping areas. Fish catches and local incomes then decline drastically. STD also wipes out bottom-dwelling fish and other organisms, and affects coral ecosystems, potentially threatening rare species and adding to the decline of coral reefs worldwide.

One example of a toxin that can enter the marine environment when STD is used is ammonia. This chemical, which is used in nickel plants, can be deadly to marine life, or in smaller amounts can damage fish's gills, interfere with reproduction and stunt growth. The toxic metals in tailings often include mercury, cadmium, nickel, chromium and arsenic. Apart from direct toxicity, fine particles of mine waste make water muddy, which interferes with fishing, and with the breeding and migration of many species of fish that depend on clear water.

Fish that can be caught are hard to sell because of health fears in the market. Communities without other economic resources are forced to eat contaminated fish. Not only are local communities impoverished, but strong evidence suggests they suffer serious health damage, ranging from skin disease to paralysis.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 1:57 pm 
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The country could be exporting at least USD20 billion a year, maybe more!

The Philippines is in the "Top 10" gold-producing countries in the world, but mining was put into a stand-still because of past mismanagement. In other words, INCOMPETENCE rather than TRUE RISK was the true root cause of past failures. I don't understand, progressive countries exploit their natural resources with little or no detrimental effect to their environment, why can't the Philippines do the same?

Can you believe that only 21% of the country's roads are paved? Now imagine this: enough money could be generated to modernize not only the nation's roads but also other antiquated infrastructures like irrigation systems, drainage systems (especially Metro Manila), drinking water supply, schools, ports, mass transportation and whatever else in the government's to-do list. The benefits are truly huge and I believe PGMA sees eye to eye with mining proponents. If nothing else, it is a very viable alternative to jump start the country's ailing economy.

The countries of the Middle East exploit their oil reserves with little or no devastating effect to their surroundings. Look, they are already progressive in a comparatively short period of time. My eyes water with envy everytime I visit Dubai, Bahrain, Qatar, and Oman - man, their roads and buildings are much nicer over there! Not too long ago, they were poorer than the Philippines.

The Philippines is endowed with large mineral deposits, but we're not exploiting them. I think those opposed need to have a more open mind and weigh the benefits vs. the ill-effects of mining. Experts say Philippine population will double in 30 years based on current growth rate. We just can't sit back anymore and leave everything to chance.


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 Post subject: Cordapya
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 2:03 pm 
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Oh wow! this is a good one. My knowledge on this topic is very limited. No comment lamang ako, but I'm letting you know that I'm here listening. Very interesting!

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 Post subject: on mining
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 3:15 pm 
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Two caveats: 1) I'm a semi-environmentalist who go for responsible mining operation; 2) This post is kinda long.

Mining, of course, is always a ticklish issue. Ticklish in the sense that there are existing literatures around the world that both support and negate mining's social relevance. And so an ordinary folk like me is left to his own devices to process these pieces of information and weigh whether mining is good for him and his community or not.

And here lies the rub. Because an ordinary folk like me may be overwhelmed by the immediately tangible benefit that mining brings, which is of course, employment. And given the domino effect that empoyment creates, the local economy is sure to pick up. Although it can be argued early on that there's a downside to this economic boom due to the eventual cropping up of social problems like prostitution, gambling, drinking etc as what happened in Tago and San Miguel during the NIA regime in the '80s.

Mining, along with logging, is the favorite whipping boy of environmentalists. But sadly, like any cause oriented group, environmentalists have gone to the extreme in that mining has become an "all or none" thing to them.

In his 2005 State of the Province Address, Gov. Pimentel had declared the start of the agri-business era for Surigao del Sur, adding that mining would also be pursued. Pimentel must've anchored the mining collatilla on P/GMA's 10-point agenda which include, among others, the revitalization of the mining industry.

Many times I've heard Gov. Pimentel say that one of the best ways to solve SDS's unemployment problem is through mining. But knowing there are groups (basicaly the clergy) that oppose mining, he said that the church opposes mining only because the church wants the people to remain poor so that they will remain dependent and faithful to God. What the church doesn't realize, Pimentel added, is that if people get employed, they give bigger tithe to the church and then priests would have more money for their vices. (I remember the crowd roared after Gov. Pimentel broke into his trademark Cheshire cat smile.)

And so where does that leave us, argument-wise?

SDS prides itself of having the greatest iron deposit in the world. But that in itself is the greatest irony (pun intended) because SDS has 52% poverty incidence and 45% unemployment rate. This despite the fact that SDS is a first class province! To use the Marcos metaphor: SDS is a beggar sitting in a mountain of gold! Or to use an idiom closer to home: nagpuyo sa dakong linaw, namatay sa dakong uhaw!

Question: of what use is a certain resource when it cannot improve the economic lot of its owner? To be Biblical about it, God commanded man to subdue the earth, but sadly, He forgot to give man the Implementing Rules and Regulations in subduing the earth that man went on a rampage and did his own reverse creation!

I don't want to delve into the economic implication of mining because it's already a given (in fact, grabehirs articulated it beautifully). What I'd posit is this: Can mining operations be pursued without wreaking havoc on the environment?

Again Grabehirs is correct. There are American, European, and even Asian models that say, yes, it can. But then again, we have to be cognizant also of the fact that these countries have different brands of governance than the Philippines and most importantly, their cultures are diametrically opposed to ours. Example, while Americans and Europeans have become environment champions, we Filipinos still flagrantly throw our trash anywhere.

As I've said, I'm for mining operation in Surigao del Sur provided it's done within the ambit of Sustainable Development coupled with Social Responsibility. But even this statement of mine requires a leap of faith given the Filipino's way of not letting his right hand know what his left hand is doing. Know what I mean?

For one, we have government agencies that look into the environmental implications of mining operations . But then again, to be honest, the hands of these government agencies, most often than not, are tied (bravo to yaka-ubo for being so perceptive!). Please don't ask me why because your guess is as good as mine. :shock:

Now, what can environmentalists do especially that there is a national pronouncement by P/GMA (and Pimentel) that mining is one of the flagship industries of her administration? Well, a lot!

Let us make our presence felt by being an agressive watchdogs. As such, we'll ask for a copy of the environmental laws that these mining firms have to follow so that we'll have a basis for our regular monitoring. This way Surigao del Sur will not be another Toledo or Marinduque. How to do this? Let's organize the community within the immediate mining vicinity; educate them especially on the telltale signs of pollution of any kind and then establish reporting systems etc. Worse comes to worst, we'll shake, rattle and roll our sentiments all the way to the appropriate goverment agencies.

Remember Erin Bronkovich (played to stellar perfection by Julia Roberts)? Let's all turn into Erin Bronkoviches! In short, let's get involved especially that Gov. Pimentel said that let us just give mining a chance, anyway if we see something wrong about the operations, then the Province of Surigao del Sur can always revoke the mining concessions.

So there.

Please allow me to end by clearing an overstatement. The proposed mining site will eat up about 52 hectares only (out of SDS's 445,000 hectares) and will not straddle the whole Carcanmadcarlan area but only a portion of the area of Carrascal that abuts the area of Claver (or Placer, I can't remember now) in the North.



Peace and love. :D

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Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2005 12:45 am 
Is theres no other way to improve the economy in our town other than mining? Once the environment is damage it takes a thousand years to recover. It is too bad we cannot trust our politicians.. The Pemintels were our leaders for a long time but what improvement did they bring to our Province?..NADA....if we can protect our people from the tragedy that other regions had experience. we have to do it now than be sorry later..


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