President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. announced on Monday that he plans to collect VAT from the export of partially processed ore, instead of raising mining taxes.

“What we would like to do is encourage that the value-added [taxes] to the raw ore stay in the Philippines as much as possible. Whether there should be fiscal measures in that regard is something we have not decided on and what the levels that will be. But I think what we are trying to achieve, the desired result for all of this, is instead of exporting raw ore, we export at least partially-processed ore so that may value-added that’s left in the Philippines,” he said in a press briefing in Mandaluyong City.

Marcos also emphasized the need to push for “clean mining” in the country, citing its negative environmental impact.

“I cannot believe that here in the Philippines we cannot monitor and regulate the mining industry sufficiently so that we can have clean mining in the country,” he said.

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He lamented that practices in the mining industry in the country remain problematic.

“We have to view the natural resources as a national treasure which can help the Philippines a great deal. It is only up to us to ensure that the practices that we see in the mining operations in the country are such that they are environmentally neutral,” he added.

Earlier, the economic team of outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte pushed for the revival of the mining industry to generate more jobs.

Duterte has repeatedly urged the mining industry to observe stricter environmental rules or risk getting shut down.

In April 2021, Duterte issued an executive order lifting the nine-year moratorium on mineral agreements to spur economic growth and support projects and programs of the government.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources, in December 2021, issued an administrative order lifting the four-year ban on the open-pit method of mining. (PNA)

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