Govt to implement new mining law by yearend

| February 17, 2014 | 0 Comments

Manila Standard Today, February, 15, 2014 By Jennifer Ambanta. The government expects to implement a new mining law by the end of the year, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said Friday.

“By the end of the year, we will make a new law identifying these ‘go’ and ‘no-go’ [mining] zones,” Purisima said in a speech in Singapore.  Purisima was invited as a speaker to the IISS Fullerton Lecture, which discussed The Philippines and Asean: The Road to 2015 and Beyond.

Purisima said a new mining law was needed in the Philippines to protect the environment and the interest of the private sector.

“For example, there is aphilippines map group of islands in the west of the Philippines called the Palawan islands which McKinsey called to be a potential Maldives of the East,” Purisima said.

“It has around 2,000 islands that are not only breathtaking but also rich in minerals. However, if you wish to tap the tourism potential in that area, you cannot have mining go hand in hand with it,” he said.

Purisima said the law to be enacted would have profit-sharing provisions that would enable the public to also benefit from the natural resources of the country.

“In line with this, we also plan to mandate transparency in our extractive industries and improve profit sharing. When mineral prices rise again, which I believe will happen given that minerals are finite resources, hopefully mining activities can help contribute to an additional percentage to the Philippines’ annual growth,” he said.

“In fact, at the time when prices were quite high, a mining project down south of the Philippines was forecasted to have added at least one percentage to our growth every year,” he said.

Among the provisions in the draft mining law is the single taxation system to be imposed by the government or a simplified tax for the mining industry.  “It will be a single rate for everything,” Purisima said.

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