Opposing stand over natural wealth
Metal from time immemorial is a source of wealth and intrigue.
Many lives perished in search for previous metal.
From Wikipedia’s history portion: “The nature of metals has fascinated mankind for many centuries, because these materials provided people with tools of unsurpassed properties both in war and in their preparation and processing.”
Say for example nickel from the open cast mining in Manicani Island in Guiuan, now causes controversies. Two opposing groups have different stand over the natural wealth unearthed by miners of Samar Nickel Mining Resources Corporation (SNMRC).
Save Manicani Movement (SaMaMo) have written President Benigno Simeon Aquino III to totally ban the mining in the island because of the damaging effects of the mining operations.
The open pit mining has displaced farmers to pursue their agricultural activities depriving them of income. For the said reason, four (4) village chiefs; namely: Igmedio Abucejo of Buenavista, Romeo Projimo of Banaa, Arsesmo Arsenio of San Jose, and Adolfo Codoy of Hamorawon, as reported in the recent May 19 issue of this paper, called for the Mines And Geosciences Bureau (MGB) to lift the suspension order against the mining company. Since they can no longer worked in the farm, as they said having been advised by MGB of some minerals underground would be disadvantageous to the crops, have prefer to have the mining operate.
It is akin to the old adage: “If you can’t lick them, better join them.” The hungry stomachs of the farmers are no longer mindful of the effect of the lifting of the suspension to their unborn babies. They only think of their present life or condition, without thinking of the future generation.
The open pit mining is dangerous, not only to the lives of the Manicani people. It also endangers the lives of others living in other parts of the earth. Why?
In Matt Cover’s 2010 article posted in the internet titled: “Government Report Says Global Warming May Cause Cancer, Mental Illness” could be read:
“High-level nickel exposure is associated with increased cancer risk, respiratory disease, and birth defects; the same is true with certain other metals, especially cadmium and lead [used in solar cells and batteries”.
When rain falls in the open pit the tailings precipitates with water or washed out to the sea to evaporate causing acid rain. That is the nature’s process by which water converts from liquid to vapor. That is the primary course that water moves from liquid condition back to water cycle as atmospheric water vapor. Even during dry season, the danger of nickel’s dust carried by air in the atmosphere, unseen by naked eye, and touching the human skin causes cancer, respiratory disease and birth defects.
At the present price of P335 per pound of nickel, the mining company is indeed wishful the suspension has to be lifted. The four village chiefs integrity could be questioned why they want the lifting of the suspension? For several years of having been suspended, why only now they want it lifted? Are they for their short lived and having no concern to the unborn babies?
They should think seventy-seven times. Although, they said they are not totally pro-mining officials but for responsible mining under the Mining Act of 1995, they will still fall under suspicion.
If the method of mining will remain as it is, open pit, all of us will be victims. The fast changing climate in the world is due to mining and the so-called green energy. I am not against mining, but there should be a better way of extracting the metal from underneath the ground. The extraction should not affect the atmosphere. It should not be open pit. A tube should be used in moving the extracted metal to the processor and the tailings reinjected back to the ground.
Nickel is needed in different ways, such as: Nickel’s main use is in the production of stainless steel. Armored cars used nickel-steel. Nickel-copper alloy is used in tubes for desalination plants, turning seawater to freshwater. The American coin five-cent is 25 percent nickel and 75 percent copper. Heating tubes in hairdryers, toasters and electric ovens are nickel-chromium. Magnets are made of nickel, cobalt and aluminum. Glass used nickel that gives the green color. Nickel has a vast use in industry.
I have not yet seen Manicani Island, but from the description of Dennis M. Ravas, reminds me of Laguna de Bay in Southern Luzon that was once a lovely body of water. In the article Ravas wrote, we can read:
“You have a bliss of memory despite you were then taking the heat of the battle. For us who are a generation away from WWII, We have nothing but the mourning for Manicani. The mountain bedecked with lively palm trees you have seen had become an open pit for mining, while the dregs of the mines are left unchecked to stream to the Pacific water below making fish and crab habitation covered with mercury and mud.
“Thanks that you remember Manicani Island off of Guiuan, Eastern Samar. For the brave ones, the battle is not yet ended on that island.
“It has just barely begun as people should be helped to rise from the devastation of mining which have become an acrid political test for the whole province and the Philippine nation as well in its sincerity to make ecology a prime issue over contentious quick buck.
“I salute you, soldier. How we wish we at Manicani are the still living [ones] in the same pristine Pacific paradise you have seen and lived in at the heat of battle.”- firstname.lastname@example.org
Ravas article was his reply to the soldiers of the United States Army, the 96th Seabees who landed in Manicani Island in World War II. As described by Cyrain Cabueñas of the Inquirer: “For many years, Manicani has served as a haven for people who wanted to commune with nature or check out World War II artifacts.
“The island used to be endowed with various species of tropical fish, coral reefs and lush vegetation. These images of serenity and bounty led some people to stay in Manicani for good.”
As unsolicited suggestion, it would be better for the four village chiefs to sit down with Marcial Somooc of Brgy. Buenavista, a board of director’s member of SaMaMo, to have a common stand. They are all from the same Island; hence, whatever would be beneficial for the unborn babies should be their final stand, lest the future generation curse them.
In May 16 issue of this paper, Samooc was quoted: “We feel desperate in seeking relief without any positive actions from the local government unit and even from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) for the stoppage of any mining in our island. That is why we are asking the President to help us.
“SaMaMo’s campaign is not for the personal interests of its members but for the generations to come. We might be blamed by our children if they will have nothing to live in the future. Even our means of livelihood are being compromised,” (Feedback welcome, email@example.com)
By: Fidel D. Banzon
Short URL: http://leytesamardaily.net/?p=28357