Continued Support for Responsible Mining to Drive Economic Growth and Empower Local Communities

By: Philippine Resources May 13, 2024

Atty. Mike Toledo, Chairperson of the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines

Mining companies are calling on industry stakeholders to strengthen support for responsible mining, underlining the industry’s untapped potential to further drive economic growth and support social development at the national and local level, while fostering environmental stewardship.

Mining company representatives echoed the sentiment as the industry gathered to launch “Living with a Brighter Future,” a documentary developed as part of the industry’s Better Mining, Brighter Future communication and advocacy campaign. The campaign, which aims to raise awareness about responsible mining, is a joint initiative of the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines; the Philippine Nickel Industry Association; the Chamber of Mines - Caraga; the Alliance of Responsible MIners and Operators - Visayas; the Eastern Rizal Minders Association; the Mindanao Association of Responsible Quarry Operators Foundation, Inc.; and the Philippine Mining & Exploration Association.

The "Living with a Brighter Future" documentary provides a comprehensive narrative of responsible mining practices, portraying the collaborative efforts between mining companies, local communities, and local government units. Through the eyes of company representatives and community members, the documentary showcased the positive socio-economic impact and environmental sustainability initiatives of the mining industry across Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

“Mining companies have made substantial contributions to local communities through its Social Development and Management Program or SDMP. Additionally, the industry’s environmental commitments have been significant,” said Atty. Mike Toledo, Chairperson of the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines.

From 2002 and 2027, mining companies have pledged a total of PHP 31.81 billion towards SDMP initiatives, with PHP 20.3 billion earmarked for the period spanning 2002 to 2024. Since 2002, SDMPs have positively impacted over 1,160 barangays across the country.

SDMPs serve as a collaborative platform where mining companies, the local government, and the community come together to bridge the gaps in both physical and social infrastructures within the communities they operate in. Through constant consultations with the host and neighboring communities, mining projects are able to meet the needs of residents and offer impactful solutions that yield both immediate and long-term benefits. During the event’s panel discussion, industry leaders highlighted initiatives such as employment creation, education and healthcare investments, infrastructure development, and the preservation of indigenous culture through programs like the IP Culture Revitalization Program.

On the other hand, the Philippine mining industry has provided PHP 387.81 billion, as of December 2023, to environmental protection and enhancement programs. In addition, the mining industry has committed PHP 6.72 billion for the rehabilitation of decommissioned mines. One concrete example of the initiatives of the industry is the number of trees planted where, as of December 2023, more than 50 million seedlings covering almost 45 hectares of land have been planted by the industry. Of these planted trees, approximately 90% have survived.

“Through innovation and modern technologies, the mining sector is reducing its environmental footprint and paving the way for a future where economic development and environmental stewardship go hand in hand. Progressive rehabilitation efforts, coupled with investments in reforestation and environmental protection, demonstrate the industry's commitment to responsible stewardship of natural resources,” Atty. Toledo added.

The documentary highlighted that the industry contributed PHP 170.1 billion (in current prices) to the Philippines’ GDP in 2022 alone and employed over 212,000 individuals as of 2023.

In his keynote presentation, PWC Partner, Mr. Pocholo Domondon further reiterated the industry’s economic contributions citing NEDA’s 2023 Philippine Development Report which stated that while there was an 18.5 percent decline in the total net FDI, significant contributions were still noted for manufacturing, transportation and storage, and mining and quarrying in terms of increased net equity FDI. In the same report, the government also listed the fiscal regime for mining as one of the tax measures that the government is discussing as part of efforts to achieve its fiscal targets until 2028. Further, the government has also cited the mining sector, along with the manufacturing sector, as essential sectors expected to support the government’s 4PH program. The 4PH program aims to build 1 million housing units yearly until 2028.

As the industry moves forward, their collective commitment underscores a shared vision for a sustainable future where responsible mining plays a pivotal role in driving economic growth, fostering social development, and preserving the environment for generations to come.

Related Articles

Recent Articles

See Our Latest Issue

See Our Latest Issue

See Our Latest Issue

See Our Latest Issue