The Challenge of Mineral Wealth: Promoting Responsible Mining in the Philippines


Horacio C. Ramos

Mines and Geosciences Bureau
Department of Environment and Natural Resources




Three years into the government’s Revitalization Program for the Philippine Minerals Industry, modest gains in terms of the industry’s socio-economic contribution and investment inflow have been registered. The environmental incidents of 2005, however, again placed the industry in a negative light and resulted in renewed calls by some sectors for the government to reconsider its decision to promote mining. Even industry organizations and observers have said that the promised reforms are not forthcoming.


Nonetheless, the Government, through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, remains steadfast in its belief that mining can indeed contribute to the country’s economic development, poverty reduction and yes, sustainable development.


Yet, admittedly, there is no straight path to the revitalization of the industry and it will never be an easy one. And that is the challenge of mineral wealth. The paper will provide updates on: (1) the local mining industry’s performance; (2) the priority mineral exploration and development projects; (3) the country competitiveness ranking from the point of view of some foreign investors; and (4) the DENR’s policy reforms and directions.


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