Despite the ongoing protests of communities that claim being affected by mining operations in Sibuyan Island in Romblon and Brooke’s Point in Palawan, President Bongbong Marcos said that mining is an “important part” of the administration’s economic goals.

Speaking to the press during the Philippine Military Academy’s alumni homecoming event in Baguio City last February 18, President Marcos said his administration will continue to enforce the existing laws to ensure responsible mining in the country. 

“Mining is very clearly an important part of our plans for the economy. However, it is clear that we do not want some of the incidents that we saw in the past few years to happen again. So it is really a question of enforcing the law in terms of responsible mining, and that is what we will continue to do,” Marcos said.

“We will always make sure that the mining companies [that] come in, once they are finished mining, that they leave the site in the same condition as it was when they found it,” he added.

This was corroborated by National Economic Development Administration Socioeconomic Planning Usec. Rosemarie Edillon, who said that under the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) for 2023–2028, the government’s plan to revive the mining industry will serve as support for the government’s renewable energy projects.

A budget in support of the rehabilitation of mined-out areas will also be allocated by the agency.

Edillon underscored the importance of rehabilitating mined-out areas.

She also encouraged local miners to emulate the good practices of mining companies in Australia and Malaysia.

“Kailangan ay mayroon talagang provision para sa restoration, kasi mag-i-explore sila  magbubutas dito, butas doon, para lang tingnan kung ano ang talagang nasa ilalim. So dapat may provision para sa mag-rehabilitate, pag-restore niyan,” she said.

The NEDA official concedes that there are mining companies in the country that practice responsible mining and have contributed to the government’s income.

“Mayroon na rin po naman tayong mga mining firms na responsible mining naman iyong mga practices, so okay din po iyon. Pero ang gusto natin is, you know sa pangkalahatan ayusin natin iyong fiscal regime,” she said.

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