THE next administration should do away with its anti-mining policy and come up with a balance mining plan that would maximize the potential of the country’s mining industry, Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said recently.
Marcos noted that the Philippines is a top producer of minerals, ranking 3rd in gold, 4th in copper and 5th in nickel in the world.
But despite the Philippines’ standing, the Aquino administration, he said, has failed to put up a good mining plan, thus slowing down development of the mining industry.
“There is no mining policy in this government today. We do not have any kind of plan.
There is no vision as to what we want the mining industry to be 5 years from now, 10 years from now, or 15 to 20 years from now,” Marcos told the participants in the Mining 2015 forum held at the Solaire Resorts and Casino in Pasay City (Metro Manila).
According to the senator, the government, in having a purely anti-mining policy, was not able to take advantage of the country’s mineral deposits, thus lessening benefits it can provide to its people.
In fact, he said, many of the government’s policies are contrary to the principle and intent of the 1995 Philippine Mining Act.
The senator particularly cited the failure of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to issue new mining agreements.
He also cited the proposed expansion of the “no-go” zones for mining and a proposed increase in the government’s share of 10 percent of gross output or 55 percent of adjusted mining revenue, which discourages new investors in mining.
But while pushing for a more relaxed mining policy, Marcos said, the government must also make sure that the mining industry will also address other valid concerns of the local communities, particularly the protection of their environment and ecology.
“The only way the country can benefit from an enlightened exploitation of its mineral resources is to have a mining policy that is clear to everyone and not have these contradictory directives that are coming from different agencies,” he added.