Duterte vs drugs, Gina Lopez vs the mines: Next up: Who will KILL the jeepneys?

Gina Lopez is one badass government official. Unlike most government officials, she is beholden to no one — not even her own parents who she left at 18 to do missionary work in the slums of Africa. This is presumably the reason Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte chose her to be his Environment Secretary. The Philippines, after all, is the product of decades of ravage-by-mining. Under Lopez’s watch, this has been stopped.

What is wrong with mining? It accounts for less than 3 percent of the Philippine economy. Yet it contributes an astounding cost to the environment and Filipinos who live off it. Mining, after all, is the poor man’s ticket to unsustainable wealth. Mineral riches did not lay a solid foundation for human development in the Third World’s top mineral producers. The Philippines, for its part, is one of the world’s top producers of the planet’s most precious minerals — gold, copper, and nickel amongst others. But for the toll mining has taken on its land, the Philippines has not much to show beyond the vast physical scars this industry has left.

Mining (in conjunction with direct export of its output) is a lazy industry. It is the macro equivalent of prostitution — putting your physical assets directly on the market rather than employing said physical assets to do actual work. Nickel, for example, is exported as raw ore to China where it is used in the manufacture of steel which is then sold back to the Philippines. The same can be said of other extraction industies, like logging and OFW export. They are raw product exports that degrade the Philippines’ physical and social fabric.

Jeepneys: That other menace to Philippine society that needs to be dealt with decisively.
Mining and other extraction industries therefore do not contribute to the expansion of the Philippines’ capital base. Indeed, it actually subtracts from it — by degrading the nation’s environment and society.

The argument that Lopez’s non-negotiable closure of mines in the Philippines will cause Filipinos to lose jobs is a myopic and shortsighted argument. This, in fact, is the same moronic argument that keeps the Philippines’ infamously inefficient and filthy jeepneys on the road (and their toxic exhaust in the air).

The jeepney problem, like drugs and mining is the Philippines’ other obvious socio-economic cancer.

In light of this, it can be said that Lopez is the perfect analogue to Duterte. Duterte’s War on Drugs, flawed as it may come across to some, is the work of a long overdue kick-ass bad cop. Lopez is the badass equivalent to an industry long grown fat, complacent, and cocky whilst sitting squat over the fortunes of ordinary Filipinos and the land they work. Indeed, the only missing piece in the Get-Shit-Done squad is one more leader who will do to the jeepney industry what Duterte and Lopez are doing to the Philippines’ drugs and mining menace.

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Post Author: benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.

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16 Comments on "Duterte vs drugs, Gina Lopez vs the mines: Next up: Who will KILL the jeepneys?"

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marius
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Absolutely spot-on, Benign0. Environmental destruction is probably one of the top three reasons why the Philippines (and a lot of other third world countries, for that matter) is poor. Raping the planet that sustains you is guaranteed to produce horrific results. Nature has a way of pushing back: the forces at her disposal are immense, orders of magnitude larger than anything man can deploy. And she WILL push back. What makes me sick is that the “God-fearing” Filipino is quite happy to rip up and piss on God’s gifts to humanity. Closing down mines is probably one of the most… Read more »
656Hyden007Toro99999.999
Guest
656Hyden007Toro99999.999
We are wealthy in natural resources…but not wealthy with human resources with innovative and resourceful minds / attitudes. We are satisfied with our stagnant lives ! We mine the ores and process them into ore concentrates. We sell these ore concentrates, at bargain prices to China, Japan, Korea, and other industrialized countries. We don’t have any Steel Industry, that is the primary step to industrialization. We do not know, how to process these ore concentrates; and make them into finished products. Cooper wires for cooper. Nickel plates and nickel steel alloy (stainless steel) for nickel. Chromium iron alloy for chromium.… Read more »
Robert Haighton
Member

Hyden,
Maybe I am misreading your comment but I dont read anything about a plan how to phase-out all the jeepneys.
Who allows them to drive on the roads? Probably either the national government or the LGU. So they (the LGU) are in ‘power’ to get rid of ALL jeepneys. Why dont they do that today?

Hyden007Toro999.999
Guest

@Robert Haighton:

Nobody has plans to phase out the jeepney. They can never rid of this form of transport.

I, myself cannot think of any way to give the exploding population of Filipinos, any alternative mode of transport. Unrestrained population growth, mandated by the Roman Catholic Church; plus obsolete mode of transportation. We have now serious problems.

We don’t have the technology; the industries; the technical people; etc…to solve these problems.

I bet; it is the Filipino way: “we expect , the problems will solve itself…”

Or send more OFWs to work overseas, to solve the population growth !

Robert Haighton
Member

Hyden,
Are you saying your country doesnt ‘produce’ any smart engineers who can make a proto type of a new mode of transportation? Something between a mini van, taxi and bus/coach? Something that is comfortable (thinking about foreign tourists who are taller than the average Pinoy/Pinay).

marius
Guest
Robert, several powerful families have a financial stake in gasoline distribution. It’s to their advantage that Filipinos use as much gasoline as possible, ie., inefficient engines. Every so often someone comes out with a prototype that gets reported with fanfare in the press, and is then never heard of again. Usually some rumours are started, saying the new technology failed miserably, and Filipinos would be best off sticking with their tried-and-(t)rusted, zinc-plate-and-rebar “vehicles” (the word “vehicle” being used in its broadest possible interpretation). Anyway, the BOC blocks any useful technology from coming into the country, on the basis that it’s… Read more »
Robert Haighton
Member

Marius,
So to organize an EDSA #7 to protest against everything you stated is useless?
And what does your beloved Duterte do against all this?

d_forsaken
Guest

The menace continues to endure only because, there are some heartless men who are taking advantage of the lives and bodies the gullible victims get trapped into.

patrizia
Guest

robert, what has our beloved duterte got to do “with all this?” it is his fault that the philippines is what it is now??? the guy, in his short time as president of the country, has done so much that no one else before him has, in the fullness of his/her term!

ChinoF
Member

One thing that came to mind about Filipinos selling off their resources to others for easy money the story of a relative in the provinces. Years ago, when my grandmother was still alive, she gave my relative a tricycle for his use. But instead of using it for transport or even for business, he tore it apart and sold the parts to others. That’s seems a perfect analogy as to how many Filipinos treat things provided to them for their use; instead, they’d rather sell the things off than work.

marius
Guest
ChinoF: I’ve heard that story multiple times. It seems to be a common ‘business’ strategy in the Philippines. Give a Filipino a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a Filipino to fish, and he’ll look at you blankly, sell the fishing rod, and carry on complaining about how poor he is. I agree this is symptomatic of a widespread misunderstanding about things like money, capital, and return on investment. If basic household finances were taught in school, it might break this cycle. Robert: not sure what you mean. I’m not interested in Duterte, but people like Gina Lopez… Read more »
Robert Haighton
Member

Marius,
Coal mines should/must be closed. Its so old-school and dangers.

fred
Guest

this man has probably several cell phones, made from gold, copper, and other metals, he probably uses electricity, drives a vehicle, watches tv, has a tablet, and eats food…all the roads he drives, the planes he rides and the pages he cries on about mines, all every bit of it, his home, lights windows, everything came from mining. Stop using these items and put mines out of business, you hypocrite

maria
Guest

maraming salamat sa paghirang kay ginang Lopez sa DENR!!!!

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