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THE EFFECTS OF MINING IN PALAWAN

A Term Paper Presented to the Faculty of Department of English and Foreign Languages College of Liberal Arts and Education Adamson University

In Partial Fulfillment Of the Requirements in English Communication 2

Garcia, Jann Garie S. Racelis, Michael Dane A. March, 2012

Introduction:

Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth, from an ore body or vein. Thus, in Palawan which is said to be rich in minerals and ores, are now engaging in this type of business leading it to cause environmental problems like sedimentation or erosion, surface destruction, chemical spills, acid mine drainage and especially water pollution which may cause toxicity, that may harm the marine creatures and of course human or its society. The researchers came up with an idea the effect of mining in Palawan in order to expand the knowledge of the readers about what type of business is mining. Furthermore, to help others to inform what problems it can lead to our biodiversity. On the other hand, the researchers are aiming for alleviation towards the possible negative effects of mining in Palawan.

I. Mining in Palawan

According to Groliers International Encyclopedia deluxe edition (1980), mining is defined as the working pits of excavation from which minerals (coals, metals, salts, iron and so forth) are extracted from ore deposits or large aggregation. As Stout (1987) noted, the essence of mining in extracting mineral wealth from the earth is to drive an excavation or excavations from the surface to the mineral deposit. As shown by http://www.slideshare.net/no2mininginpalawan/mining-in-palawan, there are a lot of mining companies that uses different mining methods like blasting, drilling, surface mining and underground mining. According to Stout (1987), Blasting is a method used extensively in mining in order to break or fragmentize solid rocks and ores; Drilling method is used to grind solid rocks with the use of drilling machine; Surface mining is a convenient method where mining is perform above the ground and lastly underground mining is a method used to excavate underground.

II. Resources we can get from mining in Palawan Palawan is an island province of the Philippines located in the MIMAROPA or region 4. Its capital is Puerto Princesa City, and it is the largest province in the country in terms of total area of jurisdiction (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palawan). Furthermore, Palawan also has rich deposits of minerals. Actual mining and exploratory operations are ongoing for nickel, mercury (the biggest deposit in South East Asia), chromites, manganese, barite, feldspar, silica, guano, limestone and marble. There are few discoveries of copper, gold, iron, asbestos, talc, quartz, clay and sulfur (http://www.palawan.com/fp_details.php?front_page_id=16). According to Aguiba (2011), the reason why company established mining in the province is because it has abundant minerals like nickel which is one of the most important compound in making stainless steel, chromium and others.

III. Problems caused by mining in Palawan As stated by Regionel (2011), in Rio Tuba, which part of the Mt. Mantalingahan range, a key biodiversity and protected area, mining has been creeping into the core protected areas. Photos show how small and large scale mining have cleared primary forests and bulldozed into the mountain slopes. In Balabac, southern part of Palawan, abandoned and unrehabilitated copper mine lead to poisoned soil and toxic water in Colandorang Bay. In Brookes Point, the deforestation caused soil erosion (Infanta Mining) and sedimentation. Health concerns have been raised over the significant dust raised by mining in the main roads used by mine, both affecting workers and non-workers living near the roads. Non-rehabilitated mines in Roxas and Narra, as well as abandoned mercury site in Puerto Princesa (Palawan Quicksilver Mine) point to pollution and possible health threats to the community. The Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation (RTNMC) is building roads in the Bulanjao range (a biodiversity hotspot), which are causing environmental damage such as landslides, soil erosion and deforestation of watersheds. This is threatening the health and livelihood of both Palawan indigenous communities and lowland farmers. Mining in Palawan is said to have destroyed forests and caused siltation of water sources causing farmers and other Palaweos to cry for help in protecting their land. While mining provide job opportunities for some, the degree of damage to the earth, on the livelihood of farmers and Palaweos general well-being has become exceptionally alarming. In, farming, the rice poses serious health risks because of the presence of laterite, a red residual soil enriched with aluminum and iron oxides. It can cause serious damage due to food poisoning and may affect the agricultural production. (http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/current-affairsprograms/04/13/11/krusada-mining-palawan). According to Garcia (2012), Tagupan River in southern part of Palawan experience toxicity due to mining. The reason for it to happen was because of the spillage of chromium (Cr-IV), a poisonous chemical which is a threat to the health of the residents and the fishery business near the river. In addition to, Velasco (2011) noted that mining is a detriment to the environment like destroying forest, displacing agriculture, affecting communities and affecting the fish catch. Furthermore, according to Salaverria (2012), the nickel laterite pollution of farmlands in Narra and Batazarra and deforestation in portions of watersheds and key biodiversity areas causes skin problems among residents in the mining areas.

IV. Laws related to mining in Palawan According to Velasco (2011), some companies in line with mining violated the R.A. no. 7942 or Philippine Mining Act of 1995. Furthermore, they violated the R.A no7942 section 19 or areas closed to mining application which states that mineral agreement of financial or technical assistance agreement application shall not be allowed near or under public or private works including plantation or valuable crops because they have affected the agricultural land by siltation. She also noted that they had violated R.A. no. 7942 section 69 or environmental protection which is about the environmental enhancement program which will cover the revegetation, regeneration and reforestation of mineralized areas, aquaculture, watershed, and others; R.A. no. 7942 section 70 or Environmental Impact Assessment which is about to maintain the ecological balance, hence they have cause a detriment to the environment. Likewise, according to Salaverria (2011), mining companies failed to abide the R.A. no. 7942 section 72 or timber rights, which is about a contractor may be granted to cut lumber hence the contractor shall perform work within his mining areas in accordance with forestry laws, rules and regulations. Furthermore, she added that it is visible that the company didnt perform the reforestation hence they only cut lumbers from the forest. According to the constitution of R.A. no. 7942 section 108 or violations of terms and conditions of the environmental compliance which states that any person who willfully violates or grossly neglects to abide by the terms and conditions of the environmental compliance certificate issued to said person and which causes environmental damage through pollution shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment of six (6) months to six (6) years or a fine of fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00) to two hundred thousand pesos (P200,000.00), or both, at the discretion of the court. (http://www.chanrobles.com/RA7942.htm)

Conclusion:

Palawan is said to be rich in minerals and now it is engaging in new type of business called mining which causes a lot of companies to set up mining pits in the said province. This results in to a bigger problem; erosions caused by removing of vegetation due to surface mining can be detrimental to the habitats in the ecosystem; landslides ,caused by blasting and drilling, can be destructive to residential areas; and others such us toxicity can stop the agricultural livelihood of the residents. The problems that Palawan is encountering now can be mitigated. It will, however, take time and a combined effort on the part of many people. Laws implemented by governments must be followed in order to prevent the intensification of the problem. People must be aware that each one of us is responsible to take care of our environment.

References

Aguiba, M. M. (2011). Macro Asia set to start surface nickel in Palawan. Manilla Bulletin, p.3. Garcia, J. S. (2012). Kontaminasyon sa ilog dulot ng pagmimina sa Palawan. Ang Kampihan, p. 1-3. Mining and quarrying. Groliers international encyclopedia deluxe edition (Vol 13, p. 440-450). Danbury, Connecticut: Groliers Incorporated. Salaverria, L. B. (2012). Probe Palawan mining ombudsman urged. Philippine Daily Inquirer, p. 3. Stout, K. S. (1987). Mining methods and equipment. Chicago: Maclean Hunter Publishing Company. Velasco, S. H. (2011). CMP cites in Palawan. Manila Bulletin, p. 1-2.sss http://64.34.190.88/no2mininginpalawan/WhyPalawan.aspx http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palawan http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/current-affairs-programs/04/13/11/krusada-mining-palawan http://www.chanrobles.com/RA7942.htm http://www.palawan.com/fp_details.php?front_page_id=16 http://www.slideshare.net/no2mininginpalawan/mining-in-palawan