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Sep 29th
Home Community RP Government Updates RP has trillion-dollar mineral deposits but local community should give go-signal – PGMA
RP has trillion-dollar mineral deposits but local community should give go-signal – PGMA PDF Print E-mail
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Communities - RP Government Updates
Written by Vice-Consul Gines Gallaga   
Tuesday, 01 April 2008 00:40

HONG KONG (via PLDT) – While oppositionists in the Philippines have been criticizing the Arroyo administration for being pro-mining, the view from outside of the Philippines seems to be exactly the opposite.

The Philippines was dubbed as anti-mining by a media member here Monday (March 31) during the question-and-answer session that followed the keynote speech of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo at the 11th Credit Suisse’ Asian Investment Conference (AIC).


While there is an economic boom in the world, the Philippines is not known to be pro-mining nor is it particularly active in the mining business, the reporter claimed.


But the President indicated that this impression could have stemmed from the fact that while mining is a "sellers market," until now the Philippines has a staggering "trillion-dollar" worth of "largely untapped" mineral resources.


The Philippine Supreme Court had ruled as early as 2003 that a mining operation in the country could be 100 percent foreign-owned.


The Chief Executive, who has been focusing on the three E’s-- Education, Economy and Environment – explained that there had been environmental degradation left by past mining operations in the past, resulting in environmental accidents.


Now, she said, any interested mining locator in mineral-rich Philippines should "know the rules of the game."


The Philippines’ Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has mandated early on that mining companies should fill up the open pits that they have carved out of the mountains once they are through with their operations.


Miners are also required to funnel out their chemical-laden liquid wastes and dispose them properly, away from water systems used for irrigation and other purposes and which flow out to rivers and the sea.


Most important of all, the President said, interested mining investors should gain the acceptance of the local community where they intend to undertake mining operations.


The need for the go-signal of the concerned community is contained in the "social acceptability" clause of the DENR rule before any enterprise could stake its claim on a mining site anywhere in the Philippines.


The President said that those intending to dig for part of the Philippines’ trillion-dollar deposits should start negotiating with the concerned communities early on, especially on the issue of environment preservation.


Sponsored by Switzerland’s Credit Suisse, the AIC "has established itself as the most important event on the regional investment calendar."


Participating in this year’s AIC are 1,400 fund managers from Asia, North America and Europe. The President was the keynote speaker at the opening season of the 11th AIC.


"The companies that make the AIC their priority appreciate that it gives them access to a buy-side audience representing more than US$3 trillion under management and featuring the world’s greatest fund managers," according to Credit Suisse.

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