A group of Filipino entrepreneurs formed a company to harness the country’s vast precious rare earth elements and pave the way for becoming a major supplier of processed metals and critical minerals to advanced economies and industrial nations.
Retired Army Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade, president and chief executive of Philippine General Minerals Project Inc. said the firm’s vision was to align closely with the government’s program to promote industrialization and capitalize on the nation’s rich mineral reserves.
“The Philippines has vast mineral reserves containing rare earth elements with hidden properties that can make modern technology possible,” he said.
Following President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.’s announcement in Davos, Switzerland earlier this year, Parlade said the PGMPI took proactive steps to align its efforts with the government’s program, showcasing its commitment to sustainable development and responsible practices.
He said PGMPI officials met with DBP director Maria Lourdes Arcenas and DBP president and chief executive Michael de Jesus in April 2023. The DBP, through Arcenas, has supported PGMPI since its inception during the Duterte administration and was ready to finance the project until the Covid-19 pandemic happened.
PGMPI also met with Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Smith Barbers at its head office at Ayala Gardens Tower on May 5, 2023. Barbers, renowned for his strong advocacy against smuggling, visited PGMPI to assess the company’s efforts to curb ore smuggling in the Surigao area, which falls under his district.
Parlade said the discussions also revolved around strategies to leverage PGMPI’s expertise and resources to contribute significantly to the nation’s economic development.
“Through the combined efforts of industry players, government agencies and legislators like Congressman Ace Barbers, the Philippines is poised to become a trusted and reliable supplier of processed metals and critical minerals on the global stage,” he said.
“[And] By fostering strong public-private partnerships, embracing innovative practices and maintaining high standards of ethical conduct, PGMPI is poised to make a significant and lasting impact on the processed metals and critical minerals industry, paving the way for a bright and promising future for the Philippines,” he said.
“The exchange of insights and perspectives during the meetings with the Department of Trade and Industry and Congressman Barbers emphasized the importance of building trust, nurturing authentic partnerships and to ensure the industry’s sustained growth and success,” said Parlade.