Introduction to Public Administration: Lantugiay

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Introduction to Public Administration: Lantugiay

  1. 1. REACTION PAPER On the holding of LANTUGIAY 2012 A Debate and Forum entitled “This House Regrets a Mining Free Cagayan de Oro City” held last September 29, 2012, 1 PM at the Little Theater, Xavier University Initiated by the PA 200 Class of Prof. Michael Roa Through the Sponsorship of the Graduate School, Xavier University and the Supreme Student Council in celebration of the 112th year Anniversary of the Civil ServiceIntroduction The debate and the forum were initiated by the class of Professor Michael Roa as a classrequirement in PA 200 in celebration of the 112 th Anniversary of Civil Service with a nationaltheme of “Kawani, Ikaw ay Isang Lingkod Bayani!” The format of the entire program is to host a debate and after which a forum fromamong pre-selected resource speakers presenting their views about the identified topic. Mining was chosen as the topic since it is the most relevant issue in the City of Cagayande Oro. Debaters from the Parliamentary Circle Debaters of Xavier University was selected toparticipate in the debate and they were given the above-mentioned topic three (3) weeks priorto the debate to ensure a well researched exchange of ideas, presentations and views. The resource speakers of the forum were coming from the various sectors involved inMining. Those who attended were representatives from Bangon Kagay-an, an NGO, from theindigenous people, from the Barangays affected from Mining and from the DENR-Mines andGeosciences Bureau. Representatives from the City Government of Cagayan de Oro and fromthe Miners did not attend the program despite invitations for various reasons.The Topic: This House Regrets a Mining Free Cagayan de Oro City Advantages of Mining in Cagayan de Oro. It was well presented from the affirmative sideof the debate the advantages of mining to the development not only of Cagayan de Oro butalso of the entire province of Misamis Oriental and its neighboring localities. Mining activities inthe City are inter-connected with the province and other areas surrounding area bordering withthe City. Most of these mining are for Gold and Chromate which abound the area.Prof. Michael Roa| PA 200| Final Examination| A Reaction Paper| Mr. R. Dumaug| Page 1 of 4 pages
  2. 2. Employment and the source of livelihood of people connected with mining were themain reasons why mining should not banned in the City. There are professionals and skilledpeople who will be affected if mining will be totally banned, and the government cannotprovide immediate alternatives if they lost their source of income. From among the professional miners, their education, skills, experiences and learnedtechnologies from mining are very important sources of knowledge and information whichother Cities don’t have. If properly managed, the City would become the hub of professionalson mining, metallurgy, chemistry and other related science and technology careers. The local government units are also receiving benefits out of mining through taxes, feesand other revenues. These taxes raised support the various development programs of the localgovernment. Some areas in Cagayan de Oro are sitting on precious metals and minerals which couldnot be used for agricultural, farming, residential or other utilization of the land. They have to bemined in order for the society and men be benefited from it. Mining is very important in orderto support other industries. Important things and items which we need everyday are mineralsor metals mined. Hence, mining cannot be factor out in the development of human beings andcommunities. Disadvantages of Mining. The impact of Typhoon Sendong which struck the City last yearis the reasons why there are groups in the City are for the banning of mining. Thousands were killed, victimized and displaced brought about by that typhoon. Muddywaters and cut or uprooted trees were brought from the upland down to the City proper. Theimmediate blame is placed on illegal logging and mining in the highlands of Cagayan de Oro. Insearching for justice, the local administration was blamed not because of nature’s wrath butbecause of their mismanagement in regulating mining, bad planning and patronage politics inthe past that brought about that catastrophe and tragedy. It was asserted that Cagayan de Oro’s topographical location and formation is veryprone to massive flooding. All elements of environmental damage are present with mountainsat the peripheries, vast plains and the sea. Hence mining should be banned so that themountains and the rivers will be protected from any abuses thereby giving protection to thepeople residing below and mitigate the effects of flooding. As to the economic status of the people working in mining, various studies conductedshow that these people were prone to abuses with low salary and wages, no benefits andothers. Mining companies are not model industries that provide high end benefits to itsemployees. On the other hand, the government is receiving a very minimal amount from the taxesderived out of mining. It cannot even compensate the cost of damages brought about byProf. Michael Roa| PA 200| Final Examination| A Reaction Paper| Mr. R. Dumaug| Page 2 of 4 pages
  3. 3. mining or when time comes that the area will be mined out. In fact various local governmentunits are complaining of their share from the mining taxes, fees and charges.Reactions from the Resource Speakers The first resource speaker was from Bangon Kagay-an, Mr. Nixon Baban. They wereorganized primarily in reaction to the City Government’s failure to address the needs of thosewho were victimized by the Typhoon Sendong. Mr. Baban, in his prepared speech, asserted their group’s stand that they are for aresponsible mining in Cagayan de Oro. He recognized the benefits that mining can give to thesociety but if unregulated and tangled with graft and corruption, a Sendong like tragedy is likelyto come in the future. What they are advocating now is to have a moratorium on the issuanceof mining permits and to review the existing ones so that the government and the people ofCagayan de Oro can evaluate on which are operating legally and responsibly. Noel Butad from the A4 Alliance is a representative from the indigenous people. He’sopening statement reflects the real situation within their communities. He said that the landsmined have been since time immemorial cultivated and been with the indigenous people.When miners came, they were removed and displaced. Some were hired as manual laborer inthe mining area receiving a very minimal amount of wage. They were also hired as securityguards employed to displace their relatives and other members of their indigenouscommunities. Unfortunately, when talking about mining, their plight is left unattended. A Barangay Official of Barangay Iponan representing the local government talked aboutthe source of income among the small scale miners in their Barangay. He even admitted that hetoo is a miner and he started mining along the Iponan River at a very young age. Because ofpoverty and limited opportunities, people are lured to work in these mining companies. The DENR – MGB was represented by its newly appointed Regional Director Engr. RexMonsanto. He presented a brief situationer of mining activities in Cagayan de Oro City. He said,and to the surprise of everyone listening, that mining inside the City has no permit from theregion because most of them are small scale. This kind of mining is within the powers andauthority of the Local Government Unit of Cagayan de Oro through the Mayor. He assuredeveryone in the audience that once he will fully assume the responsibilities as newly appointedMGB Director, he will investigate the small scale mining operations in the City.Analysis It is of my own view that mining is inevitable and that man cannot escape from it. Thematerial things we need in our daily lives and those that are useful for the development ofsocieties are produce of mining. Minerals and metals are necessary to all of these and, it is afact, man cannot survive without them.Prof. Michael Roa| PA 200| Final Examination| A Reaction Paper| Mr. R. Dumaug| Page 3 of 4 pages
  4. 4. It is also a known fact that our country is one of the highly mineralized countries of theworld ranking between the 4th and 5th. The inevitability of mining and the abundance of minerals in our country could havebeen an essential ingredient for the progress of the Philippines. But we remain poor, highlycorrupt country and our mountains are denuded and areas badly exploited. Where did we go wrong? I believe that our system does not inculcate a responsible mining. What we inculcated,like our patronage politics, is a destructive type of mining where like an Emperor’s new clothes,our government is always barking on the benefits we received from mining but receivednothing. It’s actually a hostage of patronage in the sense that the Filipino people are beingpromised of something big like false hopes but the reality is only the few dominating oligarchcontrol this particular industry. This few have influenced the making of distorted environmentlaws and policies and financing public officials during elections to protect their vested interests. At the end of the day, it is the greater majority of the people who will be suffering fromthe ill effects of mining from denuded mountains, destroyed watershed, rivers, lakes, seas,ecological imbalance, health hazards and others. Despite this current situation in our mining industry which does not support thecommon good, there’s a glimmer of hope that Mining can bring this nation towards progress.However, this will go through a long and difficult process. The hope of Mining lies in how the public will continue to discuss this industry and comeup with a collective wisdom geared towards a responsible mining and respect on humandignity. Sometimes exchange of ideas are infringed or manipulated by the controlling few toprotect their vested interests. Hence there’s a need to sustain public discussions for out a freeflow of ideas will come a perfect solution to all of this.Closing Statements The entire activity would not have been successful if not for the full support of the Deanof the Graduate School and the staff. Understandably, most of the Chairpersons and membersof the working committees are employed in various offices and of which they have difficulty inattending to their functions during working hours. This particular gap is responsibly filled in bythe Dean’s Office. They are worth mentioning and undeniably highly commendable.Prof. Michael Roa| PA 200| Final Examination| A Reaction Paper| Mr. R. Dumaug| Page 4 of 4 pages

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