Government officials who regulate the mining industry should undergo a lifestyle check, a lawmaker said Saturday.
Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers made the proposal in light of President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement that mining has become a sunset industry which he is determined to bring down because it only favors the oligarchs.
Barbers said the abusive practices could not have thrived if mining companies are not in cahoots with officials from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Environment Management Board and local government units.
“Mr. President, Madame Secretary, I urge you to conduct a lifestyle check on the past and current officials of these three agencies, especially those based in the so-called mining provinces. You might just get the shock of your lives. Irresponsible mining practices could not have thrived without the blind consent of these people and the LGUs tasked to implement the laws,” Barbers said in a statement.
Mining, he said, is the Philippines’ sweatshop because laborers endure measly wages while owners rake in huge profits.
“Mining has destroyed the environment yet never gave back to our ordinary countrymen who labored in those pits the chance to improve their lot. As illegal drugs kill our people, irresponsible mining kill our environment, and both results are irreversible,” Barbers added.