Tuesday, February 08, 2005

NR0208: On NPA's opposition to mining

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release February 8, 2005
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio, Chief of Staff
Email: paggawa@edsamail.com.ph, anakpawis2003@yahoo.com
Cellphone number 09213907362
Visit geocities.com/ap_news

Rep. Beltran says mining firms stealing from the country, apart from
destroying the environment and displacing thousands of rural poor, farmers
and indigenous peoples

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that he did not find it
surprising that the New People's Army (NPA) is opposed to the full-scale
operations of mining corporations.

"Apart from destroying the environment, dislocating hundreds and thousands of
rural poor, indigenous peoples and peasant communities, mining corporations
are in fact stealing from the country with the aid of the government. It's
full-scale and literal robbery, that's what these mining firms are doing," he
said. "Based on what is publicly known about the NPA, these revolutionaries
stand against the degradation of the environment, the ;plunder of resources,
and attacks against the life and welfare of the masses. All this stand happen
hand-in-hand with mining operations. No wonder the NPA is opposed to full-scale
mining," he said.

Beltran said the Philippines will not benefit in any way in terms of mining
investments, exports and revenues. This he said in the wake of President
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's crowing assertions that mining will boost the

"Contrary to what the administration is saying, there is no potential of
investments since mining transnational corporations (TNCs) usually enter into
co-financing schemes with the government or with local companies, or avail of
loans from local banks aside from multilateral agencies. Government even
assumes co-financing whenever exploration fails. In short, the Philippine
government is the one shelling out multi-millions for these mining
operations," he said.

Beltran said that mining firms are already making a killing in profits through
mere stock speculation. They hedge their bets o the mere potential of mine
sites and make money without actually drilling a hole. But in this case wherein
the firms are mostly into speculative investments, the government is left an
empty bag."

Beltran expressed exasperation with the excitement of mining officials of the
administration over export receipts from a sector that is under a 100% foreign
ownership system, and where mining TNCs are allowed to repatriate their profits

Export earnings are also cancelled by the huge costs in importation of equipment
and inputs, which foreign mining TNCs also produce. He pointed out that original
investments are loose change in contrast to the superprofits that mining TNCs
repatriate from the economy, as well as the irreparable damage they cost in
social and environmental terms.

"It is highly questionable that the government says it can raise revenues from
the full liberalization of mining when the only policy consistent with
investment attraction is the abolition of production and trade taxes," he said.

Finally, he said that mining liberalization is not the answer to the the
fiscal crisis since taxpayers would still end up paying the country's debt, as
a wide array of incentives is given to mining TNCs.#


Post a Comment

<< Home