Sunday, February 12, 2006

CBCP admits they don't have technical knowledge about mining

Yesterday, the Bishops admitted that the “CBCP does not have the technical expertise to fully analyze the effects of mining” but has issued a statement urging the government to repeal the Mining Act of 2005 and close large-scale mining firms all over the country (BusinessMirror, 13 February 2006, page A2) because of their supposed feedback from the grassroots. At least, the Bishops have admitted that they don’t really know what they are talking. But why would they propose the killing of an industry they do not understand? Are the bishops now into policy making? If they are, why would they propose a policy agenda where they admit they don’t have technical background? In my previous posts, I have made a point-by-point analysis of CBCP’pastoral statement and have recommended an honest-to-goodness environmental accounting or cost-benefits analysis of the mines so that we could settle the issue. Why can’t the Bishops call an independent panel of experts to inform them about mining so their policy proposal could at least be informed by science?

Whose "grassroots" are the Bishops talking to? I understand the “grassroots” are divided on the issue. Naturally, those who are benefiting from the mines (close to 600,000) are in favor while some activist groups are opposed. I’m certain that a great majority who are not directly affected positively or negatively wouldn’t have any strong opinion for or against mining. So whose grassroots are the Bishops talking to?

5 comments:

taoharu said...

Not everybody is happy about mining. Some are for it, some are against it, but most (like me) don't know where to stand on the issue. I am for employment and economic benefits. I am against environmental degradation. Living far from a mining area, I cannot really feel the seriousness of the problem.

The priests are closer to the masses than me. They're usually the poor, the powerless, the less articulate, the less technical members of our society. Perhaps, the bishops are just echoing what these people are saying. I am not supporting the bishops' call to close all mines. I think the bishops were overacting in making that call. I am just trying to understand them and why they took a stand against mining.

Without Borders said...

i understand your position. if you have seen lafayette's and marcopper's mess you can't help but think about closing all the mines. but you don't burn a house to kill just one rat. i guess, my attitude on the issue is influenced by my perception about the inappropriate role the catholic church is playing in society and politics. they are engaged in policy making; they might as well engaged properly by learning both the social and the technical side. with the church's huge money, i propose they should create a think tank to study properly the issues by employing experts and base their judgement on those expert judgment. or at least, their statements on important policy issues should be informed by expert judgement.

taoharu said...

No, I don't think they need to know all that stuff. They should just stick to the moral issues... They can only declare mining as moral or immoral... And I agree with you that they didn't do a good job of proving that mining is immoral.

Without Borders said...

now, that's the best option for them to do: to declare it moral or immoral. you are right there! amen. i myself will probably declare some big companies immoral.

Anonymous said...

ikaw na rin ang nagsabi na nagbabago na ang mundo.. eh bakit kinukulong mo pa rin ang simbahan sa ganyang pananaw? kung may alam ka sa Catholic Social Teachings baka nagkaroon pa ng pondasyon itong pinagsasabi mo.. kala ko ba journalist ka kuno? ang tunay na manunulat di lang nilalagay ang kanyang pananaw sa bagay-bagay, pinag-iisipan at nilalagyan ng basehan.. sa susunod na susulat ka ukol sa isang bagay, o huhusga (sa sitwasyong ito sa CBCP) aralin mo kung san sila nanggagaling para ang mga argumento mo hindi ampaw..kala ko ang mga journalist namamatay dahil may pinaglalabang prinsipyo, parang nagkamali ako o baka mali ang propesyon mo, kung nagsusulat ka para lang sabihing marunong kang magsulat.. hahaha.. nakakatawa ka naman!