December 8, 2011
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, says that the mining industry, if unregulated, poses a serious threat to the country’s food supply. In Thursday’s hearing at the Senate, Pangilinan came to this conclusion as resource persons attested to the fact with data.
“I am not against mining per se, but as we saw and heard today, irresponsible mining is a grave threat to our efforts in attaining food security.”
Marinduque Governor Carmencita Reyes stated during the hearing that the province’s Kalangkang River no longer has aquatic life due to lead deposits from unregulated mining in the area. Save Palawan Movement’s Christian Monsod and Gina Lopez added that mining does not ensure development, as data show that the mining sector has the highest incidence of poverty.
“Clearly there is a need to address the loopholes in the regulation and practices of the mining companies that operate in the country. We cannot sacrifice our food security for the sake of tapping the potential of an industry that obviously needs further evaluation based on data that we have received today. The end goal should be to benefit the entire nation, particularly in securing our food supply, and not benefitting just a few.”