December 8, 2011
MANILA — Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan said on Thursday that irresponsible mining, if not stopped, poses a serious threat to the country’s food supply.
Pangilinan made this conclusion after the Senate committee on agriculture, which he chairs, conducted inquiry into the impact of irresponsible mining activities on farming and fishing communities in the country.
“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,” Pangilinan said.
Marinduque Governor Carmencita Reyes told the committee her 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 said 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,” Pangilinan said.
”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,” the senator added.
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