By Bernadette E. Tamayo | Journal Online
Worse, he said, the government’s anti-mining stance has slowed down the development of the mining industry. The Philippines is a top producer of minerals, ranking 3rd in gold, 4th in copper, and 5th in nickel in the world.
He said that the next administration must develop “a cohesive, long-term policy” for the mining industry so that it can contribute to the economic development of the Philippines and improve the lives of people.
“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,” said Marcos during a forum on mining.
In fact, he said that many of the government’s policies are contrary to the principle and intent of the 1995 Philippine Mining Act. “By having a purely anti-mining policy, we are not taking advantage of that and therefore we are lessening the benefits that we can give to our people,” said Marcos.
Among others, Marcos cited the “use-it-or-lose-it” policy the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) implemented in 2010 in a bid to open to new investors mines that have not been worked on for a long time. Since then, he noted that the DENR has not issued any new mining agreements.
There were also 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.