Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Companies challenge open-pit mine ban
Mine owners say method is safe and economical
- Bong S. Sarmiento, Koronadal City
- September 11, 2012
Pingoy maintained that the provincial government has been consistent in its stand that open-pit mining threatens the environment. He added that legal confrontation could have been avoided if the national government had consulted local officials on the issue.
Vice Governor Elmo Tolosa added that the ban will continue until the courts decide against it.
The Philippines' local government code gives local officials the authority to pass resolutions and laws governing their territory, including those concerned with economic activities, but they are expected to be consistent with national laws. The Philippine Mining Act of 1995 does not prohibit open-pit mining.
The local government â€śwelcomesâ€ť the legal challenge, Tolosa said, â€śalthough there could be some ways to resolve this problem.â€ť
The resolution does not ban mining, only the open-pit method of extraction of minerals.
Sagittarius Mines, however, said open-pit mining, as opposed to tunnel mining, isÂ the safest and most economical way to extract minerals.
The foreign-backed company operates a US$5.9 billion copper and gold project in the province. Sagittariusâ€™ schedule for commercial production suffered a setback in January, when the government rejected its application for an environmental compliance certificate on the basis of the open-pit ban.
The Tampakan project of Sagittarius Mines is claimed to be the largest known undeveloped copper and gold reserve in Southeast Asia, with an estimated 15 million tons of copper and 17.9 million ounces of gold.
John B. Arnaldo, Sagittarius Mines communications manager, said that the company observes "responsible business practices" in dealing with affected communities.
But indigenous peoples organizations' and anti-mining advocates, including church leaders, have claimed that farming in the area will be restricted and indigenous peoples' burial grounds will be affected.
Fr. Gillarme B. Pelino, director of the Social Action Center of the Diocese of Marbel, left for Berlin yesterday to make a presentation to German industrial stakeholders on the local impact of mining.
"I will detail the human rights abuses suffered by the community even while the company is still in the exploration stage, as well as the environmental and agricultural impact of the project," he said.
The meeting, which is organized by Miserior, the development arm of the German Catholic Bishopsâ€™ Organization for Development Cooperation, and Brot fĂĽr die Welt (Bread for the World), an agency for ecumenical development, will gather 50 participants from developing and emerging economies in Asia, Africa and Latin America