DOF wants to accelerate mining revival

The Department of Finance (DOF) said on Wednesday, July 6, that the government wants to accelerate the revival of the local mining industry to support the country’s economic recovery.

After the industry was sidelined in the past couple years due to environmental concerns, Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said mining will be now among the major growth sectors of the economy under President Marcos’ term.

“Another major industry, mining—which was not present before—will be also accelerated. I think mining is a growth sector because as you know, because of the crisis, the price of metals has gone up significantly,” Diokno said in a televised interview with ANC.

Other industries that Diokno wants to focus on are agriculture and tourism.

He acknowledged that mining's contribution to the country’s economy, or gross domestic product (GDP), was practically kneeled these past few years because of emphasis on environmental concerns.”

Currently, the share of the mining output to GDP was a mere 0.06 percent.

Mining used to be a huge contributor to the economy, particularly in the 1980s when the industry accounted for 21 percent of the country's export earnings and over two percent of GDP.

Before President Duterte’s term ended, his economic managers made a final push for the revival of the mining industry to generate more jobs and develop rural areas hosting mines.

In a joint report, the National Economic and Development Authority, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Department of Finance and the Development Academy of the Philippines said mining and quarrying “contributed significantly to the regional GDP in regions where there are mining operations.”

Last June 20, the Philippines also withdrawn from the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) due to “questionable metrics and procedures" for assessing the compliance of implementing-countries with the international organization’s transparency requirements.

Former Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III called EITI’s Validation–a quality assurance assessment process–“subjective, biased and unfair.”

“We find that the manner by which the EITI Board undertakes its Validation is unduly subjective, biased and unfair. The Philippines has no confidence in the ability of the EITI to undertake an impartial, transparent, and evidence-based Validation process,” he said.

The DOF chairs the Philippine Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (PH-EITI), a multi-stakeholder body that governs the implementation of the EITI in the Philippines.