Bishop rebuts COMP claim: Only few to lose jobs with mine closures
A Catholic bishop on Tuesday contradicted the claims of the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) that a lot of jobs are at stake in the order of Environment Secretary Regina “Gina” Lopez to close 23 mines and suspend five others for allegedly damaging watersheds.
Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on the Laity, said mining firms do not generate as many jobs as claimed by the COMP, and that these jobs were just contractual.
“Sa ganyang sinasabi nila palaging sinasabi marami ang mawawalan, samantalang kokonti lang naman ang mawawalan ng trabaho at pwedeng hanapan ng paraan upang mabigyan ng trabaho, kesa masira ang kalikasan natin, at ang palaging pang-aakit nila na magbibigay ng trabaho kokonti lang naman ang mga ibinibigay,” Pabillo said over Church-run Radyo Veritas.
([Mining firms] always say many will lose jobs when in fact, only a few would lose their jobs and they could be given new jobs instead of destructing our environment and they always lure people into lots of jobs when in reality, only a few jobs are given.)
COMP chairman Artmio Disini earlier said over 1.2 million workers will lose their jobs following the closure of mines. Disini said about P66.6 billion worth of annual production is expected to be lost due to the closure and suspension order.
In July last year, Lopez ordered an immediate review of all 41 metallic mines in the country. Lopez also ordered the cancellation of 75 mineral production sharing agreements in watershed zones.
Mining groups are opposing Lopez’s confirmation before the Commission on Appointments’ committee on environment and natural resources, which has reset the confirmation hearing to March 1.
Various church organizations are set to hold a prayer walk called “LAKADASAL” on Feb. 28 at the Philippine International Convention Center compound going to the Senate. YG/RAM/rga
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