Mining ‘can’t go forward’ without reform law
MANILA, Philippines – The conditions laid down by the Aquino administration in its policy on mining keeps the industry at a standstill, and it “can’t go forward” unless these conditions are addressed.
The “biggest issue” is the new revenue-sharing agreement with government that is pending before Congress, said John Ridsdel, COO of TVI Resource Development Inc., at the Arangkada Philippines Forum in Makati City.
“The government thinks it’s not getting enough… We have to wait until the new Congress,” he said.
Issued by President Benigno Aquino III in July 2012, Executive Order 79 prohibits the granting of new mining permits until a law rationalizing the revenue-sharing scheme between government and mining companies is passed.
The EO also bars the processing of new mining applications pending the identification of sites where mining activities will be banned.
“Mining is not advancing the same degree as other industries. The challenge is how do we make mining go forward? We’ve taken a long time to get to this point. While the moratorium continues, the industry is on hold. Except for companies with existing contracts, industry is staying away in droves,” Ridsdel said.
An inter-agency group is readying a new mining bill that will be presented in the next Congress. The group eyes to finish the draft before midterm elections in May.
While the reform law is pending, the mining industry has started to feel the effects of EO 79.