Mining industry finds favor with Marcos after Duterte snub
The mining industry could help ensure a sustainable recovery of the Philippine economy from the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic as this activity requires sizable investments while demand for mine output is high, according to President Marcos’ top economic manager.
“The mining industry holds the greatest potential to be a key driver in our economic recovery and long-term growth, especially now that world metal prices are high,” Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said in a statement.
“The Philippines, after all, is one of the world’s most richly endowed countries in terms of mineral resources,” Diokno said.
The finance chief attended the listing of Philex Mining Corp.’s new common shares (sold through a stock rights offering) on the Philippine Stock Exchange on Wednesday. Diokno noted that Philex’s Silangan underground project in Surigao del Norte, was considered as one of the biggest copper-gold mines in the country.
He said Philex’s listing meant that more jobs would be created, local economies would be reinvigorated, and additional revenues would be contributed to the government. The Department of Finance estimates that the project will generate around P8.5 billion in excise taxes alone for its entire mine life.
According to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, Silangan is expected to yield a total of P80 billion to the government throughout its mine life, including taxes and royalties.
Diokno also said that the Philex listing would send a strong signal to the mining industry that the Philippines’ capital markets were viable instruments for fast-tracking the development of large mining projects.
“We recognize that apart from boosting local development, mining is a strong magnet for investments that can propel our economy into a higher growth trajectory,” he said.
Diokno said that the government was expecting the mining industry to strictly adhere to responsible and sustainable mining practices. He added that the mining industry should strike a balance between protecting the environment, uplifting local communities and supporting the government’s socioeconomic agenda.
“This is a nonnegotiable condition so we can guarantee the sustainability of the industry and the strong economic growth of its host communities,” Diokno said.
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