THE Philippines will achieve growth rates surpassing the seven-percent mark by unleashing the huge potential of mining, and the revitalization of the steel industry, according to a ranking executive of the Department of Science and Technology.
Dr. C.P. David said inconsistent policies and the lack of a long-term development agenda for the country’s natural resources had delayed what he called the efficient harnessing of an estimated $1.4 trillion in mineral reserves.
David is the DoST executive director of the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DoST-PCIEERD), and concurrently, Stratbase ADR Institute (ADRi) trustee.
“Hence we see the urgent need to partner with the mining industry in a series of research projects to develop a long-term national road map that will integrate the development of mining, steel and other downstream industries,” he said.
The strategic role and potential of the mining industry issues blocking the revitalization of vital industries, such as steel and manufacturing, were highlighted during the signing of a memorandum of agreement between the DoST-PCIEERD and the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines.
The partnership was forged based on inputs from the mining industry, academe and
environmental advocates through consultations organized by the Stratbase ADRi in partnership with the Philippine Business for Environmental Stewardship.
Mining is a recognized industry in the Philippines engaged in the extraction of natural resources, which, if done properly, has a vast potential in contributing to the country’s economic development, according to industry officials.
“Understanding the complex issues of mining while balancing the environmental protection and economic development must be based on sound scientific study and data. We need to tap the expertise and resources of the private sector to work closely with government to ensure that the government comes up with right policies,” said Ysan Castillo, secretary-general of PBEST and Stratbase ADRi fellow.
Castillo said the objective of this partnership was to utilize the research and development arm of the government and the available talent and resources of the mining industry in the development of an integrated long-term strategic road map for the efficient harnessing of the country’s rich natural resources in the context of responsible mining and environmental stewardship.
Value adding in nickel laterite exports, black sand mining to revitalize the steel industry, waste management and environmental technologies are among the initial targets in a series of research partnerships.