REVENUE growth of the mining and quarrying sector slowed in the first quarter of the year, as did employment generation and employee compensation, data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Thursday showed.
The negative performance of the mining industry coincided with the closure and suspension of mining operations by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
According to the PSA quarterly report, revenue of the mining and quarrying sector dropped 19.9 percent in the first quarter of 2017 a year earlier.
The number of jobs in the industry, as measured by the total employment index, was down 5.6 percent in the same comparable period.
PSA data also showed that the employees’ compensation index contracted by 0.8 percent.
In its technical notes, the PSA said that mining and quarrying involves the production of all metallic and non-metallic minerals by extraction and related processes. Underground and surface mines, quarries and wells, and all supplemental activities for beneficiating ores and other crude materials for marketing ores are included.
The contraction in the sector was a result of the closure of many mines during the term of the previous DENR head, said Land Bank of the Philippines market economist Guian Angelo Dumalagan.
Former Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Gina Lopez ordered the closure of 23 mining operations and suspended five others. She also cancelled the mineral production sharing agreements of 75 other mining companies whose operations were in watershed areas.
“The decline in local industry output coincided with generally higher metal prices in the international market. Given the change in leadership, industry output might recover, although it might take some time before production goes back to its state prior to the shutdowns,” Dumalagan said.
Lopez was replaced by former Armed Forces Chief of Staff Roy Cimatu after the Commission on Appointments rejected her ad interim appointment after three confirmation hearings.