An official of the National Economic and Development Authority said the closure of the mining industry will affect the gross domestic product.
“What is really clear on my part is that total closure of mining will really have an impact on our attainment of GDP [growth target]. That is one of the risks and one of the factors that we are looking at,” Neda director for agriculture, natural resources and environment Mercedita Sombilla said at the sidelines of the 2016 Philippine Mining International Conference at Marriott Hotel in Parañaque City.
Sombilla said data from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau showed the mining industry contributed 0.7 percent to GDP in 2015.
The Neda official said the government was completing a roadmap for the mining industry.
“One of the things that we would really want to see also is the downstream development of these minerals. We want to pursue that with a very good study so that’s why we are developing the roadmap of these minerals, for coal, gold. We have already one for copper and I think the nickel [roadmap] is already ongoing,” Sombilla said.
Sombilla said the roadmap would provide the government a view of the pros and cons of the mining industry. She said the government was aware of the contributions of the mining industry to the economy.
“We really give importance to the continuation of the mining sector. I think that what is being done now is to review, evaluate what are already in place. The auditing that is being done was mandated by the DENR secretary. [It] will provide us with some directions on where we really should go,” Sombilla said.
Sombilla said the mining audit would also help the government improve the industry.
“She [Environment Secretary Regina Lopez] has to consider this as a totality, how this could impact on the development of the economy. The audit will help us see what is happening in the existing operating mines, what we can learn from, how we strengthen them, how we can make them more responsible in terms of how responsible mining is defined,” Sombilla said.
“We should not be looking only in the next 10 to 20 years but also in the future because that is an extractive industry. So we really need to put in place the mining that will have an economic value in the future. I think that is why she wants this auditing to be done. She wants to see what are the factors and the things that we can promote,” Sombilla said.