Archive for December 2013

OBSERVATIONS AND POSSIBLE ADVOCACY POSITIONS REGARDING THE MINING SECTOR

December 26, 2013

OBSERVATIONS AND POSSIBLE ADVOCACY POSITIONS REGARDING THE MINING SECTOR

April 28, 2008

 

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

Date: 10 February 2005

 

[Written for the Office of the President/multi-agency task force on mining advocacy.]

 

BACKGROUND

 

The paper summarizes the observations of this analyst regarding the mining sector. Some prospective advocacy positions are advanced at the concluding part of the report. The references were largely the Mining Act and related reports coming from the DENR

 

Being a constituency-enabling agency, this organization most appropriately considers the ‘constituency criterion’ in addressing problems/issues of advocacy. That is, in regard to mining, the relevant question is: do the constituency groups benefit at all from a revitalized mining sector? This paper will try to answer this question in particular.

 

DEFINITION OF TERMS

 

For easier comprehension, a number of key terms are operationally defined as follows:

 

State: Government of the Republic of the Philippines, with all of its agencies and instrumentalities.

 

Market: All economic institutions aimed at seeking profits, notably: single proprietorships, partnerships and corporations.

 

Civil Society: Non-profit institutions, specifically: NGOs, Peoples Organizations or POs, brotherhoods/sisterhoods & civic clubs, associations (in the generic sense) and cooperatives and social enterprises (civil society with market functions).

 

Community: Territorially-bound, localized grouping of people, with associational life and unique culture.

 

Constituencies: Social sectors, localized community groups.

 

POTENTIALITIES, BARRIERS, ADDRESSING PROBLEMS

 

The developmental and wealth-producing potentials of the mining sector are enormous. The sector is noticeably in the doldrums though. Inspite of the enormous levels of mineral resources possessed by the nation, the (mining) sector produces only around 1% of the GDP, and employs merely 104,000 human resources or 0.30% of the labor force.  Barriers to entry of market players combine institutional, policy, fiscal, technological, environmental, infrastructural and micro-level productions factors. A combination of technological, environmental and financial factors led to the closure of big metallic mineral producers in particular (i.e. Atlas , Marcopper, Lepanto, Dizon).

 

Legislative measures were enacted to address the policy side of the sector.  Among these are: (a) Presidential Decree No. 1899, “Establishing Small-Scale Mining As A Dimension In Mineral Development,” and (b) Republic Act No. 7942, the Philippine Mining Act of 1995. DENR Administrative Order No. 96-40 was put into place in 1997 to serve as the administrative framework of the sector.

 

A debate raged for some time regarding the constitutionality of the Mining Act. The debate had since been resolved, with the Supreme Court deciding to defend the legality and propriety of permitting foreign investors to engage in mining within the Philippine territory, both onshore and offshore, at a 100% ownership scheme. The SC decision finally resolved a key policy barrier, and is expected to lead to synergy of efforts between the state and the market to revitalize mining activities and increase mining’s contribution to GDP in the short run.

 

POLICY ENVIRONMENT AMID SHIFTING POLITICAL REALITIES

 

Based on a review of the Mining Act of 1995, it can be inferred that the policy environment for the sector had become more definitive. Such a definitiveness had encouraged more market players to signify their intention to participate in the sector, from exploration to extraction. However, ambiguities lie in the operational side of the policy, which has implications to revising the present policy. It is quite premature to say though that a comprehensive national policy on mining prevails, this being the product of series of trilateral talks among state, market and civil society players.

 

As can be observed from the introductory provisions of the law, mining intervention is largely a state-market synergy. To quote Section 2 (Declaration of Policy) of Chapter 1 (Introductory Provisions):

 

It shall be the responsibility of the State to promote their rational exploration, development, utilization and conservation through the combined efforts of government and the private sector…

 

Such a policy statement that delimits mining to a state-market synergy, without civil society provision, is explained by the fact that liberal economic policies were the wave of the past three (3) decades when the law came out. The ‘ideological field’ changed the states’ role from ‘provider state’ to ‘enabler state’, while providing greater space for market players to operate—presumably on ‘level playing field’. The policy regime comprised of: liberalization, deregulation, privatization, decentralization, tax reforms, downsizing, and liberalized currency exchange.

 

However, while the policy statement excluded civil society, the other chapters of the law provides for the roles of civil society players along the various phases of mining operations. Invariably mentioned were the following players: NGOs, cooperatives, associations, indigenous cultural communities or IPs, and local communities. This is in addition to small-scale miners covered by previous laws.

 

Such a recognition of civil society as industry stakeholder is a response to the broad challenges posed by a strong civil society on state and market players to fast-track the  redistribution of power, resources and values. Even traditionally market-oriented sectors and engagements must provide space for civil society to participate in the sector, while corporate social responsibility turned into a powerful wave in the corporate world.

 

In sum, using a typical cost-benefit analysis, the policy environment has become more definitive so as to ensure that a revitalized mining would economically benefit market players, most specially but not exclusively corporate players, as well as government coffers in terms of added taxation (e.g. excise tax). However, there are remaining kinks concerning the social and economic benefits of communities and constituencies, or civil society, that must be addressed. Hopefully, a Comprehensive National Policy will eventually address the ambiguities in the constituency side of the equation.

 

While relevant issues concerning civil society stakeholders are not sufficiently addressed, thorny questions will be raised and tensions will prevail during the implementation of the Mining Act. Many detractors will claim that civil society has been reduced to a kibitzer in the Mining Act and related documents, a contention that is not altogether invalid. The Mining Act campaign of government will also be largely biased for market players in the absence of more definitive provisions for civil society benefits. The constituency side must therefore be addressed with immediacy and dispatch, to avoid making the mining sector a mitigating factor in destabilization campaigns.

 

PROVISIONS CONCERNING CONSTITUENCIES/CIVIL SOCIETY

 

Non-Governmental Organizations

 

Among the functions of NGOs is policing mining activities. Ch. 2 (Authority of the  Bureau) stipulates that “the Director may deputize, when necessary, …duly registered nongovernmental organization (NGO) or any qualified person to police all mining activities.”

 

Another important role of NGOs concerns the environmental side of mining. Section 70 (Environmental Impact Assessment) under Chapter 11 (Safety and Environmental Protection) stipulated the following:

 

That a completed ecological profile of the proposed mining area also constitute part of the environmental assessment. People’s organizations and nongovernmental organizations shall be allowed and encouraged to participate in ensuring that contractors/permittees shall observe all the requirements of environmental protection.

 

 

Indigenous Peoples

 

The Mining Act was very clear about IPs as stakeholders in the sector, from the exploration phase through the post-production phases such as royalty provisions. Chapter 3 (Scope of Application) contained two (2) relevant sections on IPs, to note:

 

Sec . 16. Opening of Ancestral Lands for Mining Operations. No ancestral land shall be opened for mining operations without the prior consent of the indigenous cultural community concerned.

 

Sec. 17. Royalty Payments for Indigenous Cultural Communities. In the event of an agreement with an indigenous cultural community pursuant to the preceding section, the royalty payment, upon utilization of the minerals shall be agreed upon by the parties. The said royalty shall form part of a trust fund for the socio-economic well-being of the indigenous cultural community.

 

It can be remarked that the provisions are progressive enough. However, Section 17 does not contain specific  benchmark ceilings that define how much can the IP community receive as royalties. In the absence of such a benchmark ceiling, the IP group can end up at the losing end, as royalties can be defined in the marginal figures by the mining companies involved. Also, corrupt leader-officials from the IP side can appear on the scene to aggrandize a large portion of the royalties.

 

Not only that. IP groups can always cite the USA case as the most progressive instance of IP treatment. In the USA today, various ‘affirmative action’ measures have taken place to ensure that the native Americans become co-owners of gambling centers, tourist spots and various market concerns in their localities. Many native Americans today own middle class residential structures and live middle class lives precisely because they all benefit as being co-owners rather than just be treated as beneficiaries of trickles from ambiguous royalties. The mining sector doesn’t seem to be prepared to cross swords with any IP group citing the USA case.

 

Cooperatives and Associations

 

Cooperatives and associations were clearly stipulated as among the permissible participating market players in the sector. They were lumped up together with partnerships and corporations, notably in Chapter IV (Exploration Permit). The chapter defined the geographical limits of operations by market players, without discriminating against any particular form of stakeholder.

 

Whether in onshore or offshore operations, the limits applying to partnerships and corporations will likewise be benefited by cooperatives and associations. Let us cite for example Secion 22 (Maximum Areas for Exploration Permit):

 

 

(a)    Onshore, in any province –

For partnerships, corporations, cooperatives, or associations, two hundred (200) blocks.

(b)   Onshore, in the entire Philippines –

For partnerships, corporations, cooperatives, or associations, four hundred (400) blocks.

      © Onshore, beyond five hundred meters (500 m) from the mean low tide level –

For partnerships, corporations, cooperatives, or associations, one thousand (1,000) blocks.

 

Corollary provisions in Chapter 5 (Mineral Agreements) also stipulated the same stakeholders as participating market players. The chapter set the limits on maximum areas for mineral agreements, without discriminating against any form of stakeholder, inclusive of cooperatives and associations.

 

There was no clear definition, however, of association. Just exactly what sort of associations can participate in mining intervention in a given area? This question must be answered by the operating guidelines affecting the sector.

 

[Note: 1 block approximately equals 81 hectares.]

 

Marginal Miners

 

Aside from stating that a previous law (RA 7076) already defined the scope and limits of participation by small-scale miners in the sector, the Mining Act also contained important provisions affecting the said miners. Chapters 4 and 5 referred to them as ‘individual miners’, with maximum ceilings of geographical areas considerably smaller that those of partnerships, corporations, cooperatives and associations.

 

Mining Communities

 

The Mining Act also cared to ensure the development of mining communities. Chapter 10, titled “Development of Mining Communities, Science and Technology,” articulated on provisions about the locality being a beneficiary of a mining intervention within its folds. Section 57 (Expenditure for Community Development and Science and Mining Technology) states: “A contractor shall assist in the development of its mining community, the promotion of the general welfare of its inhabitants, and the development of science and mining technology.”

 

Another section of the same chapter, Sec. 61 (Donations/Turn Over Of Facilities), defined how a mining community can benefit from the post-operational facilities left behind by a mining operator. The section stipulates the following:

 

…Prior to cessation of mining operations occasioned by abandonment or withdrawal of operations, on public lands by the contractor, the latter shall have a period of one (1) year therefrom within which to remove his improvements; otherwise, all the social infrastructure and facilities shall be turned over or donated tax-free to the proper government authorities, national or local, to ensure that said infrastructure and facilities are continuously maintained and utilized by the host and neighboring communities.

 

Labor

 

First of all, the latest mining law is very friendly towards children, and strictly prohibits child labor. Section 64 (Mine Labor) under Chapter 11 (Safety and Environmental Protection)  contained the following unambiguous provision: “No person under sixteen (16) years of age shall be employed in any phase of mining operations and no person under eighteen (18) years of age shall be employed underground in a mine.”

 

Labor in FDI (foreign direct investments) controlled firms have relevant provisions for Filipino labor, as contained in Chapter 10 (Development of Mining Communities, Science and Technology). To cite the key provisions:

 

Sec. 59. Training and Development. A contractor shall maintain an effective program of manpower training and development throughout the term of the mineral agreement and shall encourage and train Filipinos to participate in all aspects of the mining operations, including the management thereof. For highly-technical and specialized mining operations, the contractor may, subject to the necessary government clearances, employ qualified foreigners.

 

Sec. 62. A contractor shall give preference to Filipino citizens in all types of mining employment within the country insofar as such citizens are qualified to perform the corresponding work with reasonable efficiency and without hazard to the safety of the operations. The contractor, however, shall not be hindered from hiring employees of his own selection, subject to the provision of the Commonwealth Act No. 613, as amended, for technical and specialized work which in his judgement and with the approval of the Director, required highly-specialized training or long experience in exploration, development or utilization of mineral resources: Provided, that in no case shall each employment exceed five (5) years or the payback period as represented in original project study, whichever is longer…

 

While the provisions are sterling instances of ‘affirmative action’ measures for Filipino labor, certain quarters can raise the howl that labor is treated in the traditional way as wage labor. There is no provision at all that stipulates a far more progressive scheme on profit sharing. We may as well anticipate such howls to come, added to another age-old issue of  ‘nationalization’ pertaining to the sector.

 

Environment

 

The concern for ecological balance was taken up in one whole chapter (Ch. 11/Safety and Environmental Protection). This chapter signifies the changes in developmental approaches, in that this time around development cannot be left to market forces alone. The risk to a purely market-driven development is the further degradation of the environments and destruction of human habitats mitigated by severe ecological damages. Section 63 stipulates provisions on mines safety and environmental protection. Section 64 defines mine labor, as previously mentioned.

 

Other interesting and relevant sections are: Section 68 (Reports of Accidents), which penalizes mining firms that fail to report mining-related accidents within a given time; Section 69 (Environmental Protection), which mandates participating market players to undertake an environmental protection and enhancement program; Section 70 that mandates the conduct of Environmental Impact Assessment, with civil society participation as mentioned earlier; and, Section 71 (Rehabilitation) that requires contractors and permittees to “technically and biologically rehabilitate the excavated mined-out, tailings covered and disturbed areas to the condition of environmental safety…,” with stiff penalties for failing to undertake rehabilitation.

 

EFFECTING WINNABLE ADVOCACY BY CLARIFYING POLICY & OPERATIONAL AMBIGUITIES

 

This analyst argues that the mining campaign could be a potentially winnable one, and can be a focal point to reverse prevailing perceptions about the state. It is further argued that the crux of the winnability lies in providing clearer, unambiguous guarantees to the social benefit & acceptability aspect of the entire mining sector. The following positions are advanced for deliberations and adoption:

 

Draft a Comprehensive National Mining Policy. Such a policy must pay respect to the evolving trend of tripartite state-market-civil society synergy in all forms of developmental endeavors and all phases of program and project execution. The national policy must ensure that constituencies are co-partners in the sector and are not just mere kibitzers that can ‘perform a role’ when contingencies arise.

 

Call for a Mining Summit that should involve precisely the three (3) sectoral stakeholders, namely: state, market, civil society. The output of the summit should be clear, definitive and doable policy agenda that can serve as input for the drafting of the national policy and revision of the mining act to incorporate the changes in the policy framework.

 

Revise the mining act in accordance with the summit covenant drafted and adopted thereof. The law should not just limit the participation of NGOs to monitoring activities and the conduct of EIAs but should be broadened to include  participation in the periodic review and assessment of the entire mining industry and drafting of policy covenants in the succeeding years.

 

Define specific benchmark ceilings for the royalties that should go to the IP communities where mining is involved. Such a ceiling should not be lower than five percentum (5%) of the income after taxes derived from the specific cite. [5% is the standard brokerage fee in various enterprises.] The accounting system that can define the benchmark should likewise be clearly defined. The basis for the royalty should be ‘social capital’, which means that the norms, values, institutions of the community must be properly valuated and regarded as equity or equivalent for royalty purposes.

 

Define clearly what ‘association’ means, by defining who can constitute an ‘association’ that can participate as a market stakeholder. Should local, broad-based community associations be involved in mining, as co-partners of partnerships, corporations and cooperatives, than the ‘social capital’ of the members should be considered as an equity capital equivalent to no less than five percentum (5%) of the authorized capital requirements for the concerned mining project.

 

Stiffer penalties on those market stakeholders that violate child labor policies should be added to the mining act. Section 64, Chapter 11 of the law should be amended accordingly.

 

Provide incentives to partnerships and corporations that will share profits to their laborers. The higher the percentage of profits shared to the workers at any given time, the greater the incentives, notably tax incentives.

 

 

END

 

 

 

 

 

 

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GLOBALIZING CHRISTMAS

December 19, 2013

GLOBALIZING CHRISTMAS

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Christmas is now nearing as of this writing. Christmas bell tolls, kids’ carols, merry songs & dances are now up in the air, inviting everyone else to share the spirit of fun and camaraderie.

A Christian and sectarian holiday Christmas is, no one doubts this. Granted that Christmas is a sectarian affair, is it possible to transform it into a global/universal, multi-cultural event? There are apparently two (2) perspectives that clash concerning the matter.

From the point of view of fundamentalist, ultra-conservative church practitioners, whether Christian or non-Christian, Christmas is a sectarian affair and should not veer into cultural spaces not meant for its observation. A Muslim fundamentalist would throw monkey wrench at any attempt to globalize Christmas, and the same may be true for those fundamentalists of other denominations.

From the vantage point of a non-fundamentalist, cosmopolitan person, Christmas is one occasion that Christians can share to others. It is a multi-cultural affair, and it belongs to the whole of humanity for that matter. Ergo, everyone on Earth better attunes to the Christmas spirit and feel the ‘family of mankind’ fraternal bonds that the affair espouses.

As to where I stand in that polarity of perspectives, I am among those who wish to share the Christmas spirit as a multi-cultural blessing. Born a Catholic, but now a freethinker who espouses post-church spirituality, I remain attuned to the Christmas holidays just the same for the reasons stated above.

Christianity is a cult of Jesus, and I will have nothing to do with following or propagating such a cult. Esoteric Christianity, however, isn’t the same as the folk Christianity of the flocks who regard Jesus as a cult figure, and I squarely stand on the grounds of this mystical version of Christianity.

Esoteric Christianity teaches universal brotherhood among its core lessons. Universal brotherhood, a battle cry of cosmopolitan esotericists, is still a very valid principle to stand up for. It is the ethos that permits a soul to go beyond the bounds of sectarian precepts, embrace fellow humans as co-family members, and build a culture of dialogue across the planet.

I do hope that the more cosmopolitan Christians would consciously invite non-Christians to be part of the holidays, truly embrace their non-Christian brothers and sisters, and allow the latter to participate in such year-end party rituals as gift-giving. And, invite the non-Christians to 24th of December midnight gathering, where they can sit by the Christmas tree and partake of the food blessings for the occasion.

Non-Christians who may not be invited by Christians in their homes on the 24th & 25th of December can also go ahead and celebrate the affair with their families and friends on the said dates. Nothing is wrong for them to put up a Christmas tree at home and party on the 24th midnight and on the 25th of December. And, at the end of the month, celebrate New Year’s Eve too.

In the Philippines, the transformation of Christmas into a multi-cultural event has already been going on in the 60s till 1972. Unfortunately, the Mindanao War came, a Christian-Muslim schism was propagated, and Muslims became reluctant to celebrate Christmas with their brethrens among Christians.

I just hope that the tide of cleavages is now ebbing and ceasing. We formally recognize Muslim and Chinese occasions in this country, and so it would be fitting for all Filipinos including Chinese and Muslims to celebrate Christmas as well. By Chinese I refer to those Chinese who are Buddhist, Daoist, atheist, or non-Christian.

The occasions for Christmas parties are now going on, from one organization to another, and so it is best for us all to participate in these events. And, comes the 24th-25th of the month, celebrate Christmas at home as a ritual occasion to solidify family bonds. Then, comes the New Year’s Eve, celebrate with a Big Bang accompanying a party or gathering.

Peace be with you! Advanced Happy Holidays!

[Philippines, 08 December 2010]

MATRIX & TERMINATOR FILMS: TECHNOTRONIC TYRANNY PROPHESIED

December 14, 2013

MATRIX & TERMINATOR FILMS: TECHNOTRONIC TYRANNY PROPHESIED

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

Magandang araw! Good day!

 

Let me share more thoughts about contemporary movies, about how they can be effective vehicles to reveal intuitive insights about future worlds. I’d focus this time on the film series Matrix and Terminator.

 

We can regard the texts of the said cinemas as allegorical, with some fundamental archetypes that can guide the viewer towards a deeper understanding of the script. We can also regard the texts as prophetic revelations about the future worlds, particularly the technotronic or technetronic society that is now shaping up.

 

As forecast by certain sociologists (e.g. Torraine) and futuristic writers (e.g. Asimov), the forthcoming historical epochs will be marked by the rise to prominence of cybernetic machines. The broader context of the society from which such high-technology innovations will be made possible was tagged by Daniel Bell as the ‘post-industrial society’, while the technology was dubbed as ‘third wave’ by Alvin Toffler.

 

Cybernetics, the informational-integrative science started by the eminent mathematician Norbert Wiener, will have to pass through its own stages of R&D revolutions before technotronics can be made possible. Eventually, this science must move to that point when the dividing line between human and machine can be effectively erased. With such erasure effected, humans notably the ‘low thinking ability’ class of folks—whom some elites pejoratively dubbed as ‘useless eaters’—can be controlled.

 

The objective of those experimenters and power elites is no less than absolute, total control of the folks. When the ‘eaters’ are put under control, with even their reproductive functions and private habits largely reprogrammed to suit broader societal goals, then signs are clear that the technotronic society has been born. In such a society, no one may be poor, but freedom from poverty would be at the expense of one’s own freewill.

 

The initial attempt to subordinate one’s individual life to broader social controls was already experimented recently as totalitarian state form. Communism, fascism and Islam were the prototypes of the reign of Tyranny that is a departure from previous tyrannies. In these prototypes, groupthought is reinforced by a mass that is politically mobile. Such a groupthought environment permits the total permeation of draconian values down to the household level.

But such prototypes were only able to succeed in terms of percolating the normative and value reinforcement templates of the futuristic Tyranny. They hardly sufficed to create immense dents in the very psyche of the folks so as to effect mutations in each of the mass members. The mutation, if ever, was superficial, as an erstwhile docile folk suddenly became participative and mobile in a society operating on the basis of the ‘group mind’.

What the designers of future worlds have in mind is to effect mutations in the psyche through intervention in both the biological and electromagnetic (aura) templates of the individual concerned. Among those inventions brewing up are advanced level microchips that can be implanted in sensitive parts of the body such as the brain and heart. When the prototypes of these cybernetic systems are produced, there will be no further need for ideological work the way they were done in the earlier totalitarian experiments. All it needs would be to program and reprogram each folk who bear with them the appropriate chip implants.

 

Matrix particularly depicted the future juncture when the programming will reach perfection. In this version of technotronics, each folk is directly attached to a mega-machine, controlled totally like a baby that is forever attached via an umbilical cord to its mother. When everyone else has been attached to his/her mega-machine ‘mother’, there can be no room for escape. The risk for challenging the system would be enormously high.

 

In that technotronics version, everyone else is in a sleeping state, or comatose by our medical standards of today. One’s personal experiences will be registered in the electromagnetic template like unto a dream state. With everyone provided for, who will ever think of the polarity principle and challenge the status quo? This is a society where every folk is indeed a perfected eater, yet productive enough as to contribute clearly to the sustenance of the deus ex machina.

As part of the security or sanction mechanisms, cybernetic machines will perform sentinel functions. Both the Terminator and Matrix series depicted this part well. The models could vary from cyborgs to tentacle octopus-like robots. Whatever will be the form of such cyber-sentinels in the future, they will come to fruition most likely. As of this writing, the proto-cyborgs are now coming out in the open in the form of humanoid robots.

 

As an update, do note that as of this moment, cybernetics had already advanced to the 3rd phase level, and is moving fast ahead. The objective of future phase cybernetics is to short-cut Thought or eliminate it altogether among the folks, by directing or manipulating the ‘eaters’ via computers. In which case there will be not much need for ideologizing which works by continuous brainwashing or sustained drumbeating of the state’s power via propaganda. While there will still be propaganda, it will be secondary contrasted to cyber-technology itself.

 

There is no doubt that all the Tyrannical experiments of the past will fold up sooner or later. Communism had already tragically collapsed, fascism is having a hard time to be revived, and Islam is pretty unstable. Eco-fascism is now being whipped up as a substitute for the failed communist experiments, but this too, which is propaganda-based in strategy, will flop out.

However, what can be culled from such experiments in futuristic Tyranny is the high-grade information about total behavior control. They are Skinner’s Walden Two enacted in the real world, of draconian experiments that sought to gain compliance by circumventing Thought and working straight on the Primal base of human behavior. The high-grade information has now been repacked and translated into both qualitative and mathematical languages, ready for their own re-utilization in the context of the erasure of distinction between human and machine.

 

At this time, the Old World with its semblance of thought-governed rules and templates is now coming to a close, approaching a ‘twilight zone’. It is coming at a time when the distinction between terrestrial and extraterrestrial is also on its twilight. Just one more element waits to unfold: the erasure of space-oriented with hyper-space travel, radically altering hence our time concepts.

 

The Terminator series was able to depict the successful short-cutting of the time process precisely through time-travel principles and mechanisms. Mystics and masters know too well these principles, even as they were able to demonstrate with ease how one can use his/her electromagnetic or EM body to travel to the past or future and come back to the present. The packaging of this information into cybernetic items is now within our hand, and sooner or later there will be such cyber-sentinels that can indeed travel across time to perform their duties.

If the Divine Hierarchs will not intervene enough on Earth and other star systems where planets are similarly situated (i.e. 3-dimensional, dense sphere), chances are that Earth and other Fallen planets will move closer to the dreaded technotronic future. It will be a future that will synthesize the basic foundations of 20th century totalitarianism and 21st century cybernetic innovations. Since mankind is quite somnambulistic in awareness today, a state that is almost similar to the Matrix awareness, very few human souls are even aware of where we’re heading for, much less aware of what to do.

 

For if majority of humans are aware, they would concur collective courses of action and invite the Divine Hierarchy to intervene as much as possible. This is the tragedy of the moment, a tragic condition that the divinities are trying hard to address from their end.
The danger with the evil experiments of the Terrans (Earth’s people) on behavior control, most especially totalitarian control, is that they might spill over to other habitable planets. How far aware are Terrans that cross-galactic observers, traversing hyperspace to come here, may have amassed enormous research data about Terran tyrannies for their own purposes, isn’t even on the table for evaluation.

 

And even more tragic would be the possibility that, over a century hence, these totalitarian systems may become obsolete on Earth, but the same junk systems would be executed in large scales across the vast expanse of galaxies. Because the Earth is now evolving, and chances are that such experiments, if they would last at all, won’t have a chance to last two hundred years from now. But there we are, diffusing tyrannical ideas—novel today but junk tomorrow—for some mad regimes and terror groups in other planets and star systems.

 

Our only hope now is for some enlightened forces in the galaxy to come forth and intervene. Precisely by using hyperspace principles to come to Earth now to help stop all the mad experiments going on here. Otherwise we will be repeating the ancient conflict of Star Wars, or the ‘fall of Lucifer’, all over again. The enlightened ‘jedi knights’ (signifying Light warrior forces) must come now, or too late in the day the terror machines will be all over us here, ensuring the death of liberty both here and across the galaxies.

 

[Writ 01 April 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila]

SOCIAL CAPITAL FOR MINING

December 9, 2013

SOCIAL CAPITAL FOR MINING

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

[Note: The author is a political economist and social development consultant. The paper was delivered in a panel lecture at the Kamayan Forum, Kamayan Restaurant, Manila, 12 noon-2 pm, 19 November, 2004. See also: http://raefdargon.blogspot.com]

This paper advocates for an alternative framework regarding mineral resource extraction. It begins with the contention that mining must be considered as primarily a community undertaking, whether the community be national or local. As such, mining must necessarily depart from market-driven models of extraction, or from state-centered models of development, and proceed to a community-oriented or constituency-based engagement.

To be able to comprehend the theme of this paper, let me begin with a story. About four (4) years ago, a former university student of mine at the University of the Philippines Manila informed me that a mining engineer wished to establish a (mining) foothold in the Cordillera. Accordingly, the engineer heard about my mystical background, and was interested to know if there are indeed precious metals in the proposed project site. That is, the engineer expected me to communicate directly to the invisible elemental entities in the area and ask their permission to establish a mining project.

Not only that. Having heard about my background as a political economist, with diversified interest and studies in indigenous culture, the mining firm he represented wanted to know what acceptable methods to employ in flushing out the indigenous people residing in the area.

To cut the story short, I declined the offer, even as I registered my vehement opposition to the sordidly profit-oriented venture of this engineer. If mining has to prosper at all, it must begin with the reality that there are people who have been settled for many epochs in the area of extraction. A win-win solution to the mining problem must be executed, not by expelling the local residents but precisely by involving them in the venture.

Let me now share to you another story. In 1998, at the height of the Asian financial crisis, my consulting firm then, the Phoenixkonsult, contracted a project with a client. The project was about yellow clay extraction, with Bicol as the project site. In a small town in Bicol is found yellow clay, a rare material that has various industrial applications as well as aesthetic uses. Incidentally, the area also has some Aeta-related residents as well as marginal peasants.

Being then the board chair of the corporation, or being in a central position to direct the developmental strategies of the firm, I strongly proposed that the project involve the residents in a number of ways.

First of all, in the feasibility study preparation, the residents can be tapped as eco-scanners to identify possible sites where the material was highly concentrated. Also, the same residents will be constituted into a cooperative, properly trained in social entrepreneurship, and invited to be co-investors in the mining project through their cooperative. A third involvement would be to tap those residents who are physically capable enough as human resource for the extraction and production activities.

Such a scheme is what social scientists and development practitioners like myself refer to as tapping ‘social capital’. Mining should not just be regarded as investment capital, but should also consider the vast wealth of social networks—‘social capital’—that can wield tremendous powers of production. Studies in comparative political economy have shown that developmental pursuits that tapped ‘social capital’ ended up more appreciably better than those that failed to do so.

The development experiences of Brazil are particularly instructive. As documented by such social science luminaries as Peter Evans (see Evans’ works on ‘state-society synergy’), those projects in agriculture, irrigation and urban-based infrastructure and housing in Brazil where a state-civil society partnership was consistently used, turned out really good in results. On the other hand, those projects that were largely state-centered or market-driven and insulated from the community networks eventually faltered, as indicated by typical experiences in most Third World economies.

In today’s evolving global context, state-centered development has become ridiculously passé. In this old framework, the state performs the role of a ‘provider state’—giving out everything such as candies and shelter units to helpless people waiting for the ‘Santa Claus’ dole outs. Such a framework had proved to be disastrous in results. Not only did it reinforce a strong dependency syndrome among the people, it also led to vicious poverty instead of eradicating this malaise. It need not be stressed that much money went to the pocket of state officials and contracting firms’ managers through this old framework.

The new framework delimits the state’s role to that of an ‘enabler state’. In this framework, development efforts are properly the tasks of market players, who possess the investment capital, and civil society players, who possess the vast social networks of ‘social capital’. The state then builds the policy environment and strong institutions that can support and sustain various developmental efforts.

I strongly contend for a ‘social capital’ approach to mining. In this approach, the first thing to do is to recognize the institutional capacity building efforts of people who live in the areas of resource extraction. Stewardship agreements must be concurred between market players and community or social enterprises of the folks, with the state serving as a mediator or facilitator. I am very optimistic about the positive results of this scheme, compared to market-driven and state-centered approaches.

You see, when people, through their social enterprise groups, are motivated to co-direct development projects, the people themselves will do so much to zealously guard and monitor the entire project or enterprise venture. The bonus for indigenous peoples is that they have easy access to the spirit world, to the nature beings in the area (called ‘elementals’ by mystics), beings that can also be tapped to guard the project.

Now, go back to the cranky old models (market-driven and state-centered), and remove the indigenous peoples from the scene of a gargantuan development effort. What will you have?

It would be instructive to recall the Celophil and Chico dam projects, both Cordillera-based, that proceeded from the old frameworks. The disastrous offshoots of the projects became the fuel for insurgent groups, largely peopled by the I.P.s, to wage zealously bloody campaigns against the colossal projects.

There is no further reason today for the likes of the Celophil and Chico projects to be repeated. We must have learned lessons from their failures at this juncture. But it seems that those who now wish to revive a mining sector that has been in the doldrums for two (2) decades to go the route of Celophil and Chico.

I wish not to further highlight the folly of any idea today that wishes to pursue development by expelling people like they were deadly toxins. Many advocates of win/lose pursuits are well placed in government even as they dominate the corporate sector. They simply couldn’t see the folly behind their antiquated approaches, blinded as they are by greed.

As a final statement, let me declare that the framework elaborated in this brief paper is not an official policy framework of state. Rather, it is a policy framework that should be discussed among various quarters and social sectors, the state included. The state after all comprises of a plurality of framework trends operating in a vast array of bureaucratic mechanisms. There is no such thing today as a monolithic state with a singular framework dominating the policy environment. Rather, the state is a fluid field for contestation by various interest groups that are all aiming to influence the shaping of the policy environment.

But this I am optimistic about: if given a chance to prosper, a ‘social capital’ framework for mining will sell like very hot cake. I am very sure about this forecast. And may the communications enclaves allow this idea of ‘social capital’ for mining to germinate and percolate, because whether we like it or not this will be the direction of resource extraction in the foreseeable future. Bar it from crystallizing, and the result will be more resentments leading to more vicious insurgencies. Permit it to galvanize, and the whole nation becomes heroic in the eyes of the international community for setting new precedents. So, which option is the better choice?

 

ILLUMINATI: FRATERNITY OF MALEVOLENT OLIGARCHS

December 3, 2013

ILLUMINATI: FRATERNITY OF MALEVOLENT OLIGARCHS

Erle Frayne Argonza

[Excerpts. Originally titled “The Fraternity of Malevolent Oligarchs & the Iraq War.” Delivered as a speech at the Earthlite, Quezon City, Metro Manila, on Oct. 2003.]

One of the most shocking knowledge that had reached me, through 25 years of inquiry, is the existence of a malevolent secret society whose Initiates have been conspiring for world domination ever since its founding in 1776. I am referring particularly to the Illuminati, established by the Bavarian Joseph Weishaupf, a Jesuit and Freemason, which supposedly uses rituals of the fire element for its initiation rites. Due to its dubious objectives and suspicious activities, the fraternity was ordered abolished by the German princes around 1786. It was forced to go underground, with the promise that one day it shall control the world’s governments, oligarchs, wealth and natural resources, through a tightly hierarchical, totalitarian power arrangement.

It had since recruited fellows from among the nobles, aristocrats, and financial-commercial oligarchs. Likewise did the society recruit scientists, philosophers, artists and professors, who have served as its articulators in the open sphere. With the great amounts of wealth at their possession, the Illuminate oligarchs were able to extend their tentacles gradually through the past centuries. Today they are able to control governments and international institutions by installing directly their fellows, called Illuminates, or by designating people from their organizational vehicles, such as the Council on Foreign Relations, Tri-Lateral Commission, and Freemasonry. They control minds through various doctrines, and by controlling the main media corporations of the North. They control business through the same means, and by a new vehicle, the Bilderberger group. They won’t stop thinking of nasty means just to ensure their steady and stable positioning over the globe.

To note, while it is true that the Illuminates represent the capitalist `Who is Who’ in the northern oligarchy (Europe, North America, Japan), it is likewise true that they supported anti-capitalist revolutions to be able to (a) install totalitarian regimes under their favor, (b) who can in due time permit entry of the grand capitalists’ business interests in their backyards, and whose totalitarian regimes can serve as rationale for sending an invasion force from outside under the guise of advancing the interests of the free world. The intervention of the Illuminates, together with another secret fraternity the Priory of Sion, in the Soviet revolution, through the summoning of Vladimir Lenin with monetary support of $20 million, is classic. The American Illluminates likewise did their job, by donating millions of money to the purse of Leon Trotsky and subordinate cadres, with the order of a rendezvous with Lenin. The specific task was to exterminate the Russian Czar and family members, as a matter of revenge against a past Russian monarch’s refusal to join in a conspiracy to declare the Hapsburg as the ruling house of a United Europe, with Austria as capital (the plan failed to materialize due to the Czar’s non-committal inaction). Note that Lenin himself had exposure to the Ordo Templi Orientii, another secret society, and was personally initiated by the most dreaded black magician of the 20th century, Alesteir Crowley.

Saddam Hussein by the way is a high degree freemason. Likewise all the presidents of the U.S.A. are high-degree freemasons, plus the current president of the Palestinian Authority, Y. Arafat, and past Premiers of Israel such as Rabin. It was the British and Americans who actually installed Hitler, an initiate of a satanical fraternity called the Germanenorden, to power. By the same token they installed Hussein to power, with the object of putting a counter-check on the possible excesses of Islamic Iran. Note that the European Illuminates likewise assisted the Ayatollah Khomeini in the overthrow of the Shah of Iran, which eventually saw the rise of a militant version of Islam.

 

Freemasonry, which used to be a vehicle of the “Goodly Company”–the Great White Brotherhood, the cosmic fraternity of all spiritual masters and their under-study assistants–was captured by the Illuminati through the penetration of the fraternity by American Illuminate Albert Pike and his brethrens in the mid-19th century. The said American Illuminates, so bigoted and racist as they were, were the ones behind the cabal that desired for a separate Confederate States of America, which when materialized will actually be subordinated to the British empire. Failing in their avowed goal, they managed to constitute the Ku Klux Klan to continue to harass the blacks and the true libertarians of America….So now, back to Saddam, it seems that his time is up–as it appears to us–as he has already done his assignment well, with no further purpose for the global oligarchy.

Prior to this decade, to recall, the secret government (Illuminati) was able to reverse public policies all over the world from dirigiste to free market ones. They began by first hatching the neo-liberal ideology, through the University of Chicago economists Friedman and Hayek, which later was popularized by professors of the same institute. The same doctrine became the basis for an experiment conducted through the IMF’s top guinea pig, the Philippines, of a free floating exchange rate beginning in 1969, aimed eventually at terminating the gold standard and the institutionalization of free markets of currencies all over the world. The gold standard was eventually killed by 1971, after the successful Philippine experiment, and by then the hyper-conservatives in the North began hatching the idea of expanding the doctrine to all areas of economic life. By 1979, privatization became sacrosanct through Britain’s Thatcher. By 1980, Reagan of America extended the doctrine to deregulation, trade liberalization, and decentralization. In the 3rd world the policies came to be called `structural adjustments,’ which included tax reforms, devaluation of currencies, government downsizing, and decreased budgets for social & economic services (“no to fiscal stimulation”). The national economies then became integrated into a globalized order, as the term globalization was to be popularized by the Japanese subalterns of the oligarchs such as Ohmae and Fukuyama.

The objective is of course to empower Big Business all the more, so that the entire planet will be a maneuverable backyard for heightened operations. Eventually, the secret government wants national borders erased, as this is now happening, and a world government installed–under their auspices, of course. The events leading to the rise of the world order will see, among other things, the rise of fascistic movements and regimes, inclusive of ones that go under new names such as Islamic fundamentalism, Christian fundamentalism, neo-realism and new utopianism. Likewise the rise of new academic doctrines such as the `clash of civilization’ and the `strong state’ theory. Through series of violent events world-wide, which will lead to increased panic and terror, the doctrines will increasingly rationalize the need to recede the rule of law, rule of restraint, rule of dialogue, and civil liberties, and, consequently, the legitimation of fascist totalitarian regimes.

 

Let us take a cursory glance at some of the sordid operations of this cabal of sinister plotters. Through a liberalized currency market throughout the world, the financier Illuminates, through the front man George Soros, are able to effectively attack the currencies of various nations. George Soros’ financial assets alone can affect transactions worth $100 billion per day. Compare this to the dollar reserves of the Philippines of $15 billion. Combining their assets, the financial oligarchs can actually whack combinations of nations including the U.S.A. through financial meltdowns alone. This they first experimented on Britain in the early 1990s. Why Britain? one may ask. Note that Britain, or England, had long lost its sovereignty, over 200 years back yet, so that the devastation of the British economy will not hurt cold-blooded evil conspirers among the British oligarchs. As mentioned earlier, the Illuminates don’t know national loyalties, and will take no second thought to destroy the economies of their own countries of origin.

Through Bin Laden and his contemporaries, the Illuminates, via the British and American intelligence agents serving as couriers, can pass on money. The money can then be forwarded to various terrorist groups in the planet, who naively believe that Bin Laden, paymaster of the oligarchical cabal, is amessiah. Note that the Bin Laden family has investments in the Bush oil companies in America. On June of 2001, according to counter-intelligence reports, Bin Laden was actually cited with CIA agents somewhere in the Middle East, a clear 3 months prior to the Sept. 11 terror attack in the USA. The role of terrorist groups is to create maximum organized chaos, as they actually receive instructions from British & American espionage handlers. Every time terrorist trouble occurs in one hot spot in the planet, massive funds transfers occur in that area due to financial panic. The British oligarchs control 36%of the world’s financial flows, and the Americans 15%, or a total 51% controlled by just two groups of oligarchs who will benefit the most from such funds transfers. Thus, the terrorists supplement the worksof aboveground speculators and fund managers represented by George Soros. Aside from this, the terrorist champions also serve as assassins for the oligarchs and intelligence agencies, as this task was already perfected in the 1960s yet, to recall the likes of Italy’s Red Army and Carlos “The Jackal.” Through the espionage rings, the Illuminates are able to penetrate and control mafia rings all over the world. It is through these rings that drugs and armaments transactions can be done, to be able to salt foreign currencies, earn and spend money beyond the oversight functions of accounting government agencies. Should a criminal lord know too much information, given that organized crime circles are not the best people to be trusted with information, then he can be easily terminated with dispatch. This was what befell the drug lord Escobar of Colombia, a country that only has a paper government today, where actual power resides in the hands of drug lords. In Colombia, whenever big bankers and investors from the North seek permission to establish or diversify business, they would report directly to the drug lords rather then the official government.

In the case of the control for the Presidency of the U.S.A., the classic case of Illuminati intervention was the attempted coup d’etat on President Clinton Bill Clinton, who refused to further allow speculators to raid the pension and health funds, and whose wife Hilary was a militant advocate of health and pension welfare, was greatly weakened through the sexual offender case filed against him, a case that was clearly masterminded by Rightwing elements and the Illuminati. The American presidency, already weakened by past machinations of American Illuminates whom the late Pres. Eisenhower refers to as the “Military-Industrial Complex” and which he fought tooth and nail behind the scenes, was weakened all the more, and remains to be a lame duck institution till this day.

 

Going back to the 2nd World War, a British Illuminate, Bertrand Russell, a white supremacist who masqueraded as a peace and human rights advocate, was among those who pressed the American authorities to drop The Bomb on Japan. As Gen. McArthur correctly assessed then, Japan was already so weak as to surrender officially, and that, per report from an American spy deployed in Italy, the Japanese Emperor was in fact already negotiating for the surrender. No less than the Pope enthusiastically volunteered to intercede for the Allies, and was willing to transact with the Japanese Emperor. But behind the scene, Russell and his ilk worked ignominiously, by summoning their creations Szilard and Oppenheimer to finalize the prototype of The Bomb and convince cold-blooded hawks in the Establishment to drop Bombs on Japan. To the shock and consternation of both McArthur and Eisenhower, two Bombs were dropped on Japan, which burned innocent women, old folks and children to death.

Back to the 90s, to recall, the then Princess of the U.K., Dianne, married to Windsor, was sincerely campaigning for the prohibition of mines, land mines or whatever, as instruments of warfare. She badly hurt the Illuminates who had billions of dollars staked in the mine business, and was embarrassing the Queen of England, a mega-investor in Illuminati network corporations added to the scandalous insult Dianne’s extra-marital affairs were causing on Windsor. At the peak of her campaign, which won her international accolades, she was ordered for termination by the Illuminati, with the possible collusion of the Queen of England herself, the world’s richest woman. Of course, it was made to appear that the assassination was an accident.

Here at home, we are witness to the flourishing of NGOs, which appear to be so valiantly audacious in clashing with Establishment, and sincerely philanthropic by their nature. But behind some NGOs, more so those coming from abroad to establish branches here, are British and American spies, gathering information about the grassroots. Those environmental NGOs, such as the Greenpeace, by propagandizing against manufactures in the 3rd world through toxic labels as `smoke stack’ industry, are actually working for the interests of financial and commercial oligarchs who want to kill 3rd world industrialization and further subordinate them through debt burdens and IMF prescriptions. These same NGOs, through works among Indigenous Peoples, have been gathering information about natural resource endowments in various ecosystems, as well as keeping stock of militants among the host populations. Human rights groups are not spared, such as the Amnesty International, that actually work for the British intelligence SAS that reports directly to the Prince of England. Some other NGOs, inclusive of inconspicuous yoga groups originating from India, are used as transit clubs for drug deals, illegal merchandise, hot money, and information by British spies.

 

The Illuminates surely have working committees in Asia, comprising of notable politicians and local intelligence assets, who, while not necessarily Illuminates, are willing tools for the grip effect aim of the Illuminati in our backyard. I am sure that Fidel Ramos, Lee Kuan Yew and Anwar Ibrahim are among the chief articulators of Illuminati-sponsored laissez faire public policies. The monarchy of Brunei works directly for the British and American intelligence community, ensuring an observation post in the region. When the Philippines 2000 (Medium Term Philippine Development Plan 1992-98) was drafted and disseminated, I received information from the local guru F.F., an advertising man whose firm was among those contracted by government for a public relations blitz, that globalist diabolical fraternities are happy over the pursuit of their policy initiatives in this country… With possibly hundreds of CIA agents planted in government hierarcy (both Congress & Executive), military & police, business sector, NGOs, church, media, and rebel organizations, added to the assets of the British Intelligence, the colonizing, balkanizing, and terrorizing schemes of the evil cabal will proceed to ensure control over the islands and its vast reserves of untapped energy and mineral resources, as well as to divisively control the ASEAN region. Today, they wish to destroy the autonomous ASEAN and build a military union under their control, while continuing to balkanize Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Burma, and every other country that must tow their line.

The latest scheme of the Illuminates concerning Southeast Asia is to encourage the growth of nationalist movements under their tight grip, or which they will initiate and lead. The objective is to isolate China, which is too late for the British and Americans to destroy whether economically or militarily. Witness the rise of new nationalist movements in the Philippines that have begun to make ripples in the media. New movements are now being hatched in Burma, Thailand, Indonesia. The use of these forces differ from the Islamic terrorists, whose role is chiefly to distract and show semblance of invincibility through coordinated bombing runs across wide territories. The nationalist movements are legal, with counterparts being organized in the officers’ corps of the national armies, and are coherent a collective force as to possibly lead national governments by the years 2004 through 2010. These preparations are being done with haste today, as hardline nationalists are rising to power inside the Chinese Communist Party. So, preparations are under way, as former anti-nationalist & anti-communist local spies are planted everywhere to begin `patriotic organizing.’

 

Let’s now go back to Saddam. As one can read in the media, the plan is to fragment Iraq, with the main Sunni portion to be integrated into Jordan whose king reports to the Illuminati through the CIA and the British MI groups. It is too bad for Saddam’s Ba’ath party, for failing to accelerate the production of nerve gas at the minimum. The said weapons, possessed by such countries as Iran and North Korea, could have been used as a leverage, now that the northern sponsors have appeared bellicose towards Iraq. That is, with nerve gas at least, Saddam could say “let us get down and talk or else I’ll bomb a million people in Israel and another 2 million in Saudi Arabia,” a line that can zipper the mouths of Bush and Blair. Such is the situation for North Korea, which the Bush-Blair clowns cannot just touch due to its developed weaponry, or else a million people in South Korea and another 2-3 million in Japan can be marched to the cemeteries soon. Irony of all ironies, the U.S.A. is even building nuclear reactor breeders in North Korea worth $4 billion plus! Saddam just doesn’t have his luck enough, and so he is as expendable as others before him such as the Shah of Iran. As one can see, pan-Arab nationalism–advocated by Saddam and the Ba’ath Party–used to be an effective ally of the northern oligarchs in checking the southern advance of the Soviet Union and the possible disloyalties of conservative Arab states. The era of Arab nationalism had already receded, and with its gradual withdrawal came the rise of Islam. It seems that in the new arrangement, the oligarchy is prepared to drop militant Arab nationalism in favor of militant Islam, though in appearance it seems to display some modicum of sympathy for the Palestinian state. Having lost control over Illuminati assets such as Saddam and Arafat, the global oligarchs would want the British and Americans to exercise direct control of the area itself through military presence, as they have successfully done in Afghanistan. The plan is to eventually destroy the Arab states, with the collusion of the Opus Dei forces who have been salivating for a re-conduct of the ancient Crusades to once and for all exact revenge on all Moslems. A later phase of the plan would be to destroy Iran and its client states in Central Asia, possibly with the use of satellite-guided Neutron Bombs that have been installed up in space since the Reagan era yet. Meanwhile, as the Iraq warfare scheme is being finalized in the work desks, the populations of Africa are massively decimated by famines, wars, and biological warfare experiments hatched by the evil…