A bill prohibiting the export of raw black sand faces opposition.
The House of Representatives passed a bill prohibiting the export of black sand and its derivatives in their raw form to other countries, but it died in committee.
The House Committee on Natural Resources, chaired by Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr., approved the substitute bill to House Bill 6321, or the proposed Black Sand Processing Act, in an online meeting on Wednesday.
According to the bill, only processed products or raw materials that have undergone advanced processing may be exported by black sand mining or trading entities.
Rep. Jose Singson Jr. of the Probinsyano Ako party-list, the bill’s author, said the Philippines is one of the major sources of black sand, which is exported in its raw form to other countries.
According to Singson, the numerous industrial uses for the materials produced by black sand mining result in massive international demand, resulting in high profits for those involved in the industry.
He claims that the cost of importing these processed products is prohibitively high, while the raw materials for these products are cheaply exported from the Philippines.
“The country is also losing potential revenues because these expensive processed products could have been processed locally, generating jobs in the communities where they are mined, not to mention lowering the price of these high-value products because we wouldn’t have to import them,” he said.
The bill would require black sand mining companies to establish, build, or lease advanced processing plants for magnetite within the province where they are conducting actual magnetite mining operations, either individually or collectively.