Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has assured the public that the Duterte administration will strictly enforce the “non-negotiable condition” on the mining industry for it to adopt environmentally sustainable and responsible extractive practices to guarantee the sustainability of this potential economic growth driver and the vibrant future of its host-communities.
With this industry providing jobs and spurring the economic growth of mining communities, Dominguez said it is crucial for the government’s policy decisions on this sector to be aligned to facts and science.
To ensure an objective assessment that will result to policy and regulatory reforms for the industry, he said the interagency Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) had commissioned independent, multi-disciplinary teams composed of technical, legal, social, economic and environmental experts to undertake a review of large-scale metallic mines in the country.
These teams, which worked from February 2018 to December 2020, have submitted their recommendations covering their two-phase review of 44 large-scale metallic mines operated by 43 companies, Dominguez said.
In the succeeding phase of the comprehensive review, the MICC plans to cover priority mining and quarry operations across the country, including some mines located in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), Dominguez said.
Dominguez, who co-chairs the MICC with Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu, said he expects the experts’ recommendations to raise public awareness about the value of mining to the economy and elevate the quality of debate on the regulatory regime governing this industry, “firmly grounding it on facts and science.”
“As the Philippines fights its way out of the economic downturn and back to the path of vigorous growth, every sector of business activity is important. The Duterte administration recognizes that mining is potentially a driver of our economic recovery. In fact, it is pushing the revival of the industry to provide jobs and energize economies in the countryside,” Dominguez said in his pre-recorded message at the opening of the MICC’s Mining Review Dissemination Forum.