Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has underscored the importance of full transparency in the extractives industries to build public trust and enable policymakers and stakeholders to better assess their costs and benefits to the economy based on fair and accurate information.
Transparency, which ensures the free flow of accurate data in the extractives industries, also allows better coordination, the implementation of appropriate interventions, and greater agility in responding during times of crises, Dominguez said.
Recognizing the important contribution of the extractive industries to the country’s economic resiliency during this pandemic, Dominguez said the government will continue to rely on this sector to provide much-needed revenues, create jobs, and drive economic growth, while striking a “delicate balance between economic development and environmental stewardship.”
He said that regulations governing this sector must ensure this delicate balance to realize the best outcomes for the Filipino people.
“The most important value we need to uphold at all times is transparency. Without this, there will be constant suspicion and all sorts of unfounded claims. With full transparency, we can better assess the costs and benefits of the extractive industries. Increased accountability will improve governance of the sector and management of natural resources. This will serve both the sector’s and the communities’ best interests,” Dominguez said at the opening of the 8th National Conference of the Philippine Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).
The virtual conference also served as the public launch of the 7th EITI Report, which contains the results of continuing efforts to promote transparency and accountability in the extractives sector, comprising the oil, gas, coal and mining industries.
Dominguez said the EITI continues to help achieve the balance between economic development and environmental stewardship by being a credible source of fair and accurate information for policymakers in coming up with an appropriate fiscal regime for mining.
“In addition, the EITI enables the productive exchange of information and positive dialogue among stakeholders. This clears the air of misinformation. This also encourages the extractive industries to be constantly mindful of their responsibilities to society, and the advocacy groups to be always vigilant in checking facts,” Dominguez said.
The EITI also helps ensure that the extraction of the country’s natural resources will substantially contribute to the sustainable development of the nation, he said.
Dominguez congratulated the EITI for being able to organize its conference and release its report despite the challenges of the pandemic.
This year’s EITI conference was the second time that it was held online because of the mobility restrictions imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19. (DOF)