Yes, you read that right. A mining company operating in the Municipality of Tampakan has hired Danny Javier of the popular group APO Hiking Society. Javier is now a “strategist” for Sagittarius Mines, Inc., a gold and copper mine.
As a “strategist,” Javier is reportedly supposed to help SMI develop a “better image.” It can be recalled that the said mining company, which has business interests in three large areas in Mindanao namely South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Davao del Sur, has and still is facing strong opposition especially from the Church. A lot of non government organizations which advocate environmental sustainability have also expressed their opposition against the operation of Sagittarius Mines.
What makes this development noteworthy is that Danny Javier of APO Hiking Society is part of a trio that also pushes for many pro-people issues. Javier and his mates Buboy Garovillo and Jim Paredes are known advocates of ecological conservation. They lead a lot of tree planting sessions and they also spread reminders about the environment and how society can help protect nature.
So of course, quite naturally, a lot of people now see Javier’s entry to SMI as being “inconsistent.”
So my question is…can we take this against Danny Javier?
While I’m dismayed that Javier accepted this job even though he’s supposed to be an environmentalist, I can also understand why he accepted the job offer. A job is a job. It provides food on the table. Whether Javier accepted the job for the sake of practicality or because he wanted to face another challenge in his life, I can understand and can cut him some slack. IMHO, we cannot take this against the guy. Again, a job is a job and he may also have “good” intentions. Hopefully.
Javier said that his father used to work in the mining industry so his new job as a “strategist” for Sagittarius Mines isn’t really something new for him. Instead, he’s taking his new role as a challenge.
The APO Hiking Society singer said that he will immerse himself in the communities very soon in order to have a deeper grasp of the Mindanao culture. He was also quoted as saying that he will ensure that the company complies with environmental standards.
How I wish that could be followed and done.
For now, I’ll give Danny Javier benefit of the doubt. Let him work and let him prove that he will really carry the voice of Mindanaoans – especially those from the B’laan tribes and other groups that will be affected by the operations of Sagittarius Mines – and that he will really raise the issues with the company execs.
In the meantime, let’s also take this as a challenge, fellow Mindanaoan. Companies are wiser these days. They can hire just about anyone who can be “the face” of their programs and business dealings. They can now all the more hire popular singers, actors, actresses and even boxers to speak in their behalf. Let’s not be swayed. Instead, let’s observe and listen. Apathy should no longer be a part of our lives.
A friend asked me whether mining per se is bad, or if certain types of mining activities,or companies are…. Sometimes it takes some real inquiry to find out, since in many areas, minerals are perhaps the only resources that propel can harness to put “food on the table”. Conservationists are conservationists since they see the need to manage the use of resources properly, to combat its abuse, but definitely, not not prevent their use. Many southern indigenous peoples have harnessed these minerals and have made useful tools and outstanding works of art. Perhaps its Danny’s role to ensure proper use and management.
.-= John Tria´s last blog ..That Southern Vibe =-.