Friday, January 13, 2012

Manny Pacquiao opposes mining and illegal logging

Mining is good business. But it's terrible public policy. Congressman Manny Pacquiao's stance on this issue shows he's a public servant.

Once Congress resumes session, the eight-time boxing champion will deliver a privileged speech which will implore colleagues in the lower House to oppose mining and illegal logging operations in the country. The first-term congressman recently purchased 10-hectare and 2-hectare lots near his district to be distributed for free to victims of natural disasters such as typhoon "Sendong".

Congressman Manny Pacquiao reminded them of the destruction to the environment brought on by mining activities, according to a statement by his congressional office.

Mining operations have existed in the country for decades. It's a profitable venture given the rising global demand for minerals. For example, several dozen materials that go into a computer once came from a mining operation. For years, manufacturers in the United States have been facing rising steel prices due to shortages from Asian suppliers, and most pre-order whatever supply is available.

Mining is bad public policy because, over the long-term, income per capita and productivity are not increased. A vast majority of minerals are exported to other countries as raw materials for their industries. Over the long-term, the Philippine economy is almost always never improved.

Investors ship profits (investable capital) overseas to seek returns elsewhere. Thus, mining operations largely develop the economies of other countries, and not that of the host country.

Natural calamities, which kill hundreds, routinely occur due to soil depletion and/or instability. Public resources such as underground water and natural streams are permanently harmed. Additionally, damage to the ecosystem harms farmers who depend on agriculture for their livelihood.

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