The Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (CoMP) may be delighted with the Duterte administration’s lifting of the ban on open-pit mines, but is wondering if the next president would continue this policy.
Based on a BusinessWorld report, CoMP Executive Director Ronald Recidoro said miners have yet to hear a clear and long-term minerals development policy or strategy from the candidates for the country’s highest post. He explained that many future technologies, such as renewable energy, batteries, electric vehicles, and computers are dependent on scarce minerals.
Recidoro further points out that the mining industry has traditionally looked at administration changes with “cautious optimism,” emphasizing that it would want to ensure the gains achieved under the outgoing president.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources lifted on December 23 the mining ban first implemented in 2017 by its former secretary, the late Gina Lopez — a staunch environmentalist.
Recidoro called the lifting a “policy correction,” saying the government made the right decision. Considering that regulatory safeguards have been set in place and that an improved fiscal regime is being implemented, he says it was just right to allow new mines to come onstream.
Recidoro likewise said that the Philippines should be positioned as a global player and make best the economic use of the country’s mineral resources. The chamber he noted, would be willing to provide the candidates with a briefing on the matter, while emphasizing the importance of a strong and responsible mining industry.