THE Chamber of Mines of the Philippines yesterday said President-elect Rodrigo Duterte should appoint an environment secretary who has enough background in natural resources management to get the right establishments to operate around mining communities.
“In light of recent developments, the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines would just like to stress its continuing advocacy for responsible mining to benefit Filipinos not just in mining communities but around the country,” said CoMP executive vice president Nelia Halcon.
“This as we stress the need for a Department of Environment and Natural Resources secretary who has a solid background on the intricacies of natural resources management and someone who is able to balance economic growth and the needs of the people with that of environmental protection, the protection of indigenous communities and the society,” Halcon added.
Halcon said the mining industry can help bring in the hard investments in the countryside and help realize inclusive growth.
“The establishment of mines in local communities results to economic progress, with more goods and services coming from the mine site. The outcome is a more robust tax take overall by government,” Halcon said.
Halcon said that mining companies and the next administration should focus on how to get the right SMEs to operate around the mine to provide the needs of the communities.
“The big revenue economic impact from mines is the economic linkages curve,” Halcon said.
Halcon noted that mining companies and the government should also know how to develop the right skills to be able to employ locals in mining activities.
“The multiplier effects of all these when valued can go beyond the tax payments of mining companies,” Halcon said.
CoMP also urged the government to resolve the conflicts in the implementation of the environmental provisions in the Philippine Mining Act and the Local Government Code.
“The $5.9 billion Tampakan Copper Gold project’s advancement from exploration to construction and development has been effectively prevented by the implementation of the South Cotabato Environmental Code that banned open-pit mining within the province,” Halcon said.
Halcon said that while “control” of mineral resources rests on the state, the local government perspective that they as local government should take control needs to be corrected.