MANILA, Philippines—An official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines disputed Saturday a claim by businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan that mining would help solve the country’s poverty problem.
Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, chair of the CBCP’s National Secretariat for Social Action, reminded the faithful that businessmen were after profit and that mining should not be encouraged because the government had a very poor record in preventing environmental abuses.
“Mining makes more people poor. I’m sure those who engage in mining, they have not come to help the poor. They have come to get the resources of the country and if there is any help for the poor, it’s very minimal,” Pabillo told reporters in an interview in Paco, Manila.
“This is business and business does not come to help the poor, it’s to get profit,” he added.
Pabillo said that allowing more mining in the country could prove disastrous as the government was not capable of monitoring and preventing environmental degradation.
“The problem is the government can’t do it…. Why don’t you see the land that can be productive. Once you get the minerals, (the land) is no more. It is destroyed,” Pabillo said.
He said that the country’s mining resources did not belong just to the present generation of Filipinos.
“These untapped mining resources are not only for us. It’s for all the Filipinos and for the incoming generations. It is not just that we destroy that… we will be leaving nothing for the incoming generations.