It has been so far in the interest of world powers and our government in painting the Scarborough and Spratlys Island issue as an us-versus-godless-communists-intsiks. Further bolstering America’s image as the guardian of democracy and liberty in the country. As well as justifying America’s insertion of foreign troops, police powers and propaganda.
What the media and government doesn’t teach us however is that other forces also claim sovereignty over the potentially resource-rich region. Vietnam, Taiwan, Brunei and Malaysia also lay claim to many parts of these islands.
Now with the way things are going it would take the United Nations a decade more to resolve who gets the tax revenues from any future drilling.
On the local side we have a nearly-settled dispute between South Cotabato and Davao del Sur. As one of the observers of the preliminary meetings/diplomatic negotiations, I had the privilege in joining the meetings to resolve a border issue.
Located in Kimlawis, Davao del Sur, Bong-Mal is one of the areas covered by the billion-dollar SMi mining project. With a potential revenue of billions of pesos the tax income earned by local governments and provincial ones cane rake in millions. Even in areas comparatively small to the size of the project. Bong-Mal was never integrated into any provincial administration because of the indigenous and headhunting B’laans that occupy the highland area.
Which is why the two provincial governments had to resolve on who gets the cake. Sadly, even though the resolution may take decades, one side would not concede to a temporary 50-50 sharing agreement. Which would distribute the revenues into two until the issue was resolved for good.