PH, Japan sign agreements aimed at promoting mining, sustainable development
The Philippines and Japan, through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), are eyeing a strong cooperation in the mining and mineral resources sector following the recent signing of a memorandum to promote best practices of sustainable development and operation in the multi-billion industry.
According to a statement released by the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo last week, the signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation between Tokyo and Manila hopes to strengthen the relationship through regular dialogues and cooperation in the areas of: mining policy on exploration, development and operation; information sharing on supply-demand trends; security in exploration, development and operation of mines; appropriate environmental impact assessment and improvement of investment environment to attract more investors to the mining sector.
A study showed that the Philippines is ranked as one of the top mineralized countries in the world with an estimated US$1 trillion untapped wealth in copper, gold, nickel, zinc and silver.
It is an established fact that the mining industry is a major contributor to the Philippine economy with a gross production value of Php 109.5 billion in 2017 and employs about 215,000 direct workers.
The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), meanwhile, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Japan Oils, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) on mine rehabilitation and mine pollution control.
Under the said memorandum, JOGMEC will provide capability training and technical support to Philippine officials on mine pollution control and environmental policies.
Japan, once a world-class producer of metals, now has 5,000 suspended and abandoned mines throughout the country and JOGMEC has been rehabilitating mines and working on mine pollution control since the 1970s.
According to MGB figures, there are 11 abandoned and inactive mines in the Philippines that the government hopes to rehabilitate by 2022.
The first phase of the training will be conducted sometime October 2019 in Japan.