Mineral Resources of the Philippines

Mineral Resources of the Philippines

by Apolinario Villalobos

During the pre-colonial days of the Philippines, only gold was mined by the natives. The precious metal was among the reasons why the archipelago was coveted by colonizers. Different mineral deposits are practically distributed among the islands and islets that compose the archipelago.

Gold can be found in the Mountain Province, Ilocos Norte, Abra, Camarines  Norte, Camarines Sur, and Mindanao; chromite in Zambales, Batangas, Mindoro, Masbate, Palawan, Surigao, Agusan, Davao, Misamis Oriental, Zamboanga del Sur, and Mountain Province; copper in Ilocos Norte, Tarlac, Zambales, Batangas, Catanduanes, Antique, Capiz, Negros Occidental, Cebu and Tawi-tawi; iron in Ilocos Norte, Mountain Province, Cagayan, Bulacan, Bataan, Camarines Norte, Marinduque, Surigao,Davao and Palawan; natural asphalt in Leyte. Nonoc island is known for its nickel.

Manganese can be found in  Ilocos Norte, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Camarines Sur, Masbate, Coron Island in the Calamian group, Siquijor, Bohol, Bukidnon, and Leyte; coal in Polilio island, Laguna, Quezon, Mindoro, Capiz, Negros, Cebu, Samar, Davao, Cotabato, and Zamboanga del Sur; oil in Cebu, Cotabato, and Quezon; gypsum in Batangas; sulfur in  Camiguin Island; pyrite in Camarines Sur, Palawan and Surigao; soda feldspar in Cebu, Biiran Island, and Sarangani; phosphate in Pangasinan, Camarines Sur, Albay, Catanduanes, Palawan, Iloilo, Samar and Bohol; quartz sand in Ilocos Norte; magnesite in Davao; granulite and quicksilver in Palawan. Today, the coastline of Ilocos Norte is gashed with non-stop mining of quartz sand by shiploads.

Romblon is known for its world-class marble which can also be mined in the Mountain Province, Guimaras Island, and Bulacan; guano deposit abounds in Pangasinan, Zambales, Camarines Sur, Capiz, Iloilo and Palawan; silica sand can be found in Lubang Island near Palawan, Dinagat island near Surigao, and in Palawan;  limestone abounds in Cagayan, Isabela, Bulacan, Quezon, Samar, Panay island, Cotabato provinces, Cebu, and Palawan.

It is no wonder that “modern colonizers” salivate at the prospect of economically enslaving the Philippines, on account of her abundant mineral deposits which could be considered as “collaterals” for never-ending renewal of debts. This is also the reason why, the Americans immediately demanded the inclusion of the “Parity Rights” in the Philippine Constitution before total self-governance was finally granted.

The West Philippine Sea being disputed with China and other neighboring SEAsian countries, and the Ligwasan Marsh in Cotabato are reputed to be rich in natural gas and deuterium. With the predicted exhaustion of oil deposit in the Middle East, industrialized countries are looking for alternative sources of fuel, and the Philippines is among them.

How can the Filipino, then, not fight for his rights, and protect what are his, such as those that have been mentioned?

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