“Responsible” does not make mining by foreign capitalists any better


Presidential candidate Isko Moreno was reported yesterday to support mining and foreign investments but asserted that it should be “responsible” in terms of its impact on the environment.

The Filipino people must be wary of this statement and repudiate the underlying concept that the key to the country’s economic development is foreign investments. This idea has long been promoted in the Philippines and other backward countries by the imperialists and IMF-WB technocrats to justify giving privileges to foreign capitalists to the detriment of local capitalists. For many decades, this has only stunted economic growth.

The most fundamental evil in the Philippine mining industry is that it is controlled and serves the interests of foreign big capitalists, and not local industrial production. Foreign companies, interested in maximizing profit, have plundered and caused massive devastation of our mountains, rivers and seas. The basic question should be, “mining for whom?” and corollarily, “mining by whom?”

The Philippines is rich in a wide range of mineral resources, including basic raw materials for the production of steel and other alloys. However, almost 100% of the country’s mineral riches are exported for processing abroad, especially in China, Japan, Canada, Australia and other big capitalist countries. This means, the country’s rich mineral resources are bought for cheap by foreign companies who produce steel and other commodities which are then sold back to us at profit.

What the Filipino people demand is that the local mining industry should not only cause the least possible impact on the environment, but more fundamentally, should be made to serve to develop local industrial production. It should be part of a more comprehensive plan to promote the country’s national industry, meaning its capacity to produce industrial commodities for consumption and capital goods or machines for production.

"Responsible" does not make mining by foreign capitalists any better