Mining Industry Seeks Gov't Assurance

Manila Bulletin, September 12, 2006 | Go to article overview

Mining Industry Seeks Gov't Assurance


Domestic mining players have asked Malacanang's intervention and direction to restore investor confidence in the mining sector after a series of events that have caused investors to rethink their planned investments in the country.

This was raised by the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines in a letter to President Gloria Arroyo that also informed of the chamber's decision to postpone the international mining conference scheduled on October 3-5 this year to next year.

"With this current state of the Philippine mining industry, and after careful deliberation and deep reflection, the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines decided during its meeting on August 24th to postpone to next year the Philippine 2006 International Mining Conference and Exhibition," said Benjamin Philip G. Romualdez in a letter, dated August 29, to the president.

According to Romualdez, their decision to postpone the international event was reached to shield the government from operational and governance issues that will inevitably surface in an international conference and which could reverberate to the global mining community.

"We would like first to contain and resolve these issues quietly and expeditiously with our partners in government and other stakeholders of the mining industry," Romualdez said.

The chamber identified nine negative events lately. These include a moratorium on new mining tenements outside of the 24 priority projects, the resolution of the National Commission of Indigenous People supporting the moratorium, the departure of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Michael T. Defensor at the hight of the decentralization of mining tenement processing, the streamlining of procedures in the grant of mining tenements, the promised non-stop-shop processing of documents for mining projects, the inactive Minerals Development Council, the filing of bills seeking to repeal the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 without giving it a chance to be implemented, the banning of mining in four provinces (Samar, Marinduque, Mindoro and Capiz), and proposed changes in the investment incentives for mining projects. …

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