Mining industry ‘can’t be killed,’ but ‘palakasan system’ should stop
MANILA, Philippines — The mining industry “cannot be killed” as it is a major field in the country’s economy, however, there must be a stop on the “palakasan system” (culture of patronage) or the double standard when it comes to regulations, presidential aspirant Senator Panfilo Lacson said Monday.
During the “2022 Presidential One-On-One Interviews with Boy Abunda,” Lacson agreed with the government’s move to lift the ban on new mining permits and open pit mining.
However, Lacson stressed that mining companies should be responsible and follow government regulations.
“Tama lang ni-lift yung ban… Basta sa akin, ang bottomline is kailangan responsible mining [It is just right to lift the ban… For me, the bottomline here is that responsible mining is necessary],” Lacson said.
Lacson likewise hit the “palakasan system” in the mining industry, wherein companies that have connections within the government—or bribe—are favored.
“Ang problema kasi yung bureaucracy. Nandyan na yung issue ng corruption. Kapag naglagay o kaya nakiusap at malapit, yun ang napagbibigyan in spite of so many violations. So dapat isa lang yung standard [The problem is the bureaucracy. There is an issue of corruption. When someone who is close to people in government, they are being favored even there are violations. So it is better to have a single standard],” Lacson said.
“Ang problema nga, ang naging kalakaran sa ating bansa, parang palakasan system lagi. Kung sino may connection, kung sino malakas maglagay… Implementation talaga ang problema [The problem is the system in our country. Those with connections are being favored… The problem is with the implementation],” he added.
According to Lacson, it is small-scale mining that commits many violations, putting environment at risk.
“Unang-una, ang bottomline is responsible mining. Basta’t tumutugon don sa issues sa environment. Ang mining industry hindi naman pwedeng patayin kasi major industry ito ng Pilipinas [First of all, responsible mining is the bottomline. As long as it is adhering to the issues with the environment. You cannot kill the mining industry because it is a major industry in the Philippines],” Lacson said.
“Ang masama yung small-scale mining… nandun ang maraming violations kaya yung environment is put at risk. Hindi ito kung itutuloy o ipagbabawal, dapat data-driven lagi ito at science-based [The problem is in the small-scale mining… that is where violations are so plenty, which is why our environment is being put at risk. This is not about stopping it or letting it to continue, this should be data-driven and science-based],” he added.
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