Mining: A Flawed Development Model
The preceding chapter demonstrated that a mining-based development paradigm is inappropriate in the Philippines. Mining-related environmental disruptions will disrupt the ecology of the poor and end up impoverishing vulnerable communities adjacent to mining operations. The instances of environmental disruption occurring when large-scale mining is located amid the natural hazards present in the archipelago will not be compensated for by a rising tide of prosperity lifting all boats. Opposition to mining is so pronounced in the islands that nine provincial governments (Figure 6.3) have passed moratoriums banning large-scale mining within their jurisdiction. These provincial governments are so concerned about the environmental effects of large-scale mining that they have gone so far as to ban it completely. To the residents of these provinces, a complete and utter absence of largescale mining is preferable to any form of it. This is not a discussion of how mining can be implemented differently so as to better propel the residents of these provinces towards some teleological concept of development, rather this is a discussion of the residents of these provinces being happy living the way they currently are and not wanting mining to disrupt their sources of income.
Consider the residents of the province of Sorsogon, deprived of their livelihoods by the cyanide spill at the Rapu-Rapu Polymetallic Project. To these people, mining did nothing but plunge them into destitution; they would have been much better off had the mining company never turned a shovel on Rapu-Rapu Island.