August 6, 2021

The mining industry is seeing a revival in demand

Given the policy boost and continuing demand for mining goods, there are many opportunities for the mining industry to rebound, according to a Finance Department official. Companies just need to utilize the sector’s potential to achieve success.

In a statement, Assistant Secretary for Finance Ma. Teresa Habitan, who also serves as alternate chair of the Philippine Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (PH-IETE), said the sector’s contribution to the country’s annual output is only around 1 percent, indicating that “there is still much room to contribute to it.”

“Truly, a country’s natural resources may propel its economic development, which is why extractives (are) among the most important economic drivers in many nations. The Philippines has yet to completely realize the full extent of its potential. The industry should capitalize on its advantages in order to achieve this,” she said on Thursday at the PH-EITE event in Phnom Penh.

According to Habitan, several measures are expected to propel the sector, including increasing its contribution to gross value added (GVA), particularly in the case of metallic mines; steady growth in exports; effective management of commodity price shocks; and pricing of non-metallic commodities that is not dependent on the global market.

The continuous creation of job possibilities, willingness to responding to required changes brought about by severe occurrences, interest in automation, and a degree of confidence about the general economic climate after the epidemic, according to her, are all growth drivers as well.

In his statement, Habitan said that threats to the sector’s recovery came from both inside the nation and from outside, but that “quantitative data indicates that businesses are improving fast and steadily.”

She said that it also implies a “optimistic point of view.”

Combined with favorable government legislation and timely developments in the global economy, she believes that the climate is ripe for recent losses to be recovered and pre-pandemic growth to return, if not expand much more, post-pandemic.

Habitan said that the government has been constantly implementing steps to strengthen the sector, and that one example of this is the issue of Executive Order (EO) No. 130, which removed a nine-year ban on the development of new mining projects.

She said that the EO is expected to boost mineral output by about PHP15 billion per year until 2023, and by PHP43 billion per year until 2027, according to projections.

According to her, the EO is expected to attract more participants and boost exports by about USD1 billion to USD2 billion per year, as well as employ up to 1.3 times more people and generate approximately PHP34 billion in government revenues via taxes and fees, among other things.

She went on to say that, in addition to the adoption of the new tax system, as well as implementation of the CREATE (Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives Act), which lowered corporate income tax from 30 to 25 percent, would enable businesses to reinvest savings into future growth.

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