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Business

Philippines to implement EITI at local level

Louise Maureen Simeon - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The government is moving to implement the global initiative on extractives transparency at the local level amid the Mandanas Ruling and as the administration ramps up the mining sector

The Philippine Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (PH-EITI) is in the process of sub-nationalizing the implementation of EITI processes.

The global EITI prescribes a standard for transparency and accountability in the mining, oil and gas industries. The Philippines has been implementing the EITI since 2013.

Finance Undersecretary and PH-EITI chairperson Cielo Magno said the government’s latest moves aim to leverage ongoing devolution efforts post-Mandanas Ruling.

It will also strengthen mechanisms that will allow for a more responsive extractive governance.

Sub-nationalizing the EITI implementation is also aimed at supporting the government’s thrust to develop downstream industries of the mining sector, implement an appropriate mining tax regime, deepen participatory governance, and enhance ecosystem resilience.

Over the coming months, PH-EITI will improve its online mainstreaming systems to integrate data from industry, state agencies, and local government agencies. It will also improve data utilization by conducting focus group discussions and training with stakeholders to increase the use of EITI data for participatory planning and budgeting, social and environmental monitoring, and policymaking.

Feedback and grievance mechanisms will also be established to address mining-related issues and inform multi-stakeholder actions moving forward.

Just recently, the global EITI launched its fresh set of standards that include new and refined provisions on revenue collection, anti-corruption, and gender, social, and environmental impacts of the extractives sector.

It also includes energy transition as one of its requirements, recognizing the global shift to a low-carbon economy, as well as the importance of critical minerals production.

The Philippines is an important producer of critical minerals globally, having the fourth largest deposit of copper and cobalt, the fifth largest deposit of nickel, and the sixth largest deposit of chromite.

The World Bank earlier projected that a five-fold increase in global demand for critical minerals could bring about the resurgence of the local mining industry.

The latest version of the PH-EITI was launched in November last year which highlighted the potential for the extractive industries to be a key growth sector in the country given its vast mineral resource deposits.

Based on the report, the metallic mining sector saw its revenues increase by 24 percent to P13.76 billion in 2020 from P11.09 billion in 2019.

Corporate income tax was the revenue stream that recorded the highest collection, followed by output value added tax and excise tax on minerals.

Overall, the extractive industry reconciled P44.7 billion in revenues from mining, oil, and gas, down 27 percent from year ago levels due to lower government collections amid pandemic-induced decline in demand.

Since the PH-EITI implementation, total government revenues from the sector reached P405.4 billion from 2012 to 2020.

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