Philippines is endowed with huge metal reserves. Some areas in the country are already acquainted with mining and extraction of these metals and undeniably, we have local people who manufacture end products such as jewelries, steel products, etc.
Downstream industry in the country is already underway but it is losing pace because of several factors and challenges. Political support, fiscal policies, and effort to educate the public of its benefits on a national-level are needed to strengthen the weak link between the upstream and prevailing manufacturing industries. In this paper, downstream development strategies of other countries have been cited to serve as a basis in crafting and improving existing policies in the Philippines
Several mining tax bills are filed in the 17th Philippines Congress. One of them is a bill Bantay Kita endorses.
In the Senate, three bills on mining tax reform are filed and two comprehensive mining policy bills with tax provisions.
The Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC Bill) was filed by Senator Franklin Drilon under Senate Bill 225 and also by Senator Ralph Recto under Senate Bill 927. Senator Joel Villanueva, on the other hand, filed Senate Bill 1166 which Bantay Kita endorses.
Senator Risa Hontiveros filed the Alternative Mineral Management Bill (AMMB) under Senate 1069 with several tax provisions. Similarly, Senate Grace Poe also filed the AMMB under Senate 1191.
The collective idea to pursue multi-stakeholder initiatives to promote transparency in the mining industry of the province begun to take shape when the Compostela Valley Provincial Government in partnership with Bantay Kita, Paglilingkod Batas Pangkapatiran Foundation, Incorporated (PBPF) and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) held a consultation among selected stakeholders discussing Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) as a global undertaking promoting transparency.
Providing the context to the above-mentioned consultation are the various transparency issues confronting the indigenous peoples in the province. One glaring issue that gained the attention of stakeholders present, was the conflict arising among the leadership of the indigenous cultural communities already receiving royalty payments from operating mines. Another issue which was raised by the Provincial Local Government Unit (PLGU) was the lack of transparency and accountability in the sharing of National Wealth collected by the National Government from the mining operations.
It is imperative to have a better understanding of how Mining Oversight Committees (MOCs) operate from a CSO perspective. By looking at the insights and actual experiences that CSO representatives in MMTs, MRFCs, and P/CMRBs in the province of Palawan, we can identify the strengths, benefits, and even the constraints or limitations of MOCs.
This study focused on documenting the actual experiences and insights of CSO representatives in the various Mining Oversight Committees (MOCs) to provide an indication on how MOCs operate from a CSO’s perspective. The respondents for this study were limited to six CSO representatives only.
Beneficial ownership disclosure is one key to guard against abuses and corruptions such as (i) dummy or subsidiary corporations violating the Philippines’ foreign ownership restrictions and (ii) politicians or government enterprises with obscured control or relationship over certain mining firms, unduly taking advantage of their position to enact biased policies or treat contracts unfairly. The same can help track individuals hiding illicit funds behind anonymous companies, and also help ensuring proper tax payments among firms. In 2014, The One Campaign estimated that USD 1 trillion is lost annually from developing countries due to illegal cross-border transactions, which then partly arise from vagueness of company ownerships.
 The Trillion Dollar Scandal Report (www.one.org)
About the Author
Madeleine Aloria is a researcher from Action for Economic Reforms, a nongovernmental organization conducting policy analysis and advocacy on key issues of economic reforms and access to information policies. She is a graduate of the University of the Philippines School of Economics.
"Subnational CSO Assessment Primers" are prepared to provide contextualized materials for subnational stakeholders and assess project-level data and information. These primers may be downloaded by pdf format or may be browsed online in Bantay Kita's DATA Portal.
The combined market value of publicly listed companies in the extractiveindustry is estimated to be at P245 billion as of February 2016. Political
and financial influence of mining companies is undeniable. The extent of
what we know about these companies is limited.
Most disclosures of these companies are financial in nature. Most mining
companies fail to disclose other documents and information mandated
by Philippine law. The Mining Transparency Index (MTI) evaluates the extent of disclosure of the biggest large-scale metallic mining companies operating in the Philippines as well as that of concerned government agencies.
Along with many other countries, in recent decades the Philippines –have witnessed a dramatic expansion of small-scale mining (SSM), mostly (but not exclusively)in the form of small-scale gold mining. As can be seen in the graph, official gold production from SSM has repeatedly surpassed that of large-scale metallic mining. While SSM istaking place throughout the country, its presence is particularly dramatic in the Cordillera mountain range in Luzon and in the uplands of eastern Mindanao, with Compostela Valley province acting as the self-proclaimed ‘gold mining capital of the Philippines’. Despite this massive expansion, however, SSM continues to be shrouded in controversy and misunderstanding. This short piece offers a view from below, based on long-term research inside the country’s mining areas, and attempts to undermine some of the myths that exist about the sector.
About the Authors:
Dr. Boris Verbrugge has recently (May 2015) obtained his PhD from Ghent University, Belgium. He is currently a post-doctoral researcher and lecturer at Radboud University, Netherlands. His research deals with small-scale gold mining in the Philippines, particularly in eastern Mindanao. In total, he spent 10 months of field research in the Philippines, including in Compostela Valley province, Benguet, Agusan del Norte, South Cotabato, and North Cotabato. Throughout this research, Boris has interviewed over 175 people, including small-scale miners, government officials, local politicians, local landowners, mining financiers, NGO workers, and academics. Throughout, he was assisted by different NGOs, research institutes (including AFRIM, the Alternate Forum for Research in Mindanao), and Bantay Kita.
Ms. Beverly “Bon” Besmanos is taking her Masters Degree in Anthropology at the Ateneo de Davao University, Philippines. She works with Bantay Kita-Publish What You Pay-Philippines as Subnational Coordinator for MIndanao. Bon was formerly employed by the Alternate Forum for Research in Mindanao. Her vast work experience with communities, local and national governments, and industry hasgiven her an exceptional understanding of mine-related regulations, policies, and programs, and the challenges of implementation on the ground. Ms. Besmanos has conducted research for several mining-related studies, including this one.
This article considers the legal framework necessary to support this system of monitoring. It first examines whether existing Philippine laws are sufficient to compel mining contractors to be transparent in all stages of the extraction process. By identifying gaps in mining and mining-related laws, it will then provide recommendations on how to promote transparency.
About the Author:
Atty. Marie Gay Alessandra V. Ordenes earned her law degree and Bachelor of Arts degree (major in political science) from the University of the Philippines Diliman. She was a litigation lawyer before joining the government as a court attorney. She is currently Regional Director to Southeast Asia and Asia Pacific at the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Secretariat.
The idea of a President exercising emergency powers brings horrible memories in the Philippines. Emergency power is associated with the brutal martial law regime of the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos which lasted for more than a decade. In truth, Marcos did not have a monopoly on the exercise of emergency powers. Since the adoption of the 1935 Constitution, Presidents have been given emergency powers for a variety of reasons.4 Not too long ago, President Fidel V. Ramos was granted emergency powers to deal with the power crisis in the 1990s.5 President Estrada mobilized the Philippine Marines to deal with the rising criminal activities during his term.6 President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued Proclamation No. 1959 declaring martial law in President in the Province of Maguindanao in response to the Maguindanao massacre.
About the Author:
Atty. Dante Gatmaytan is a Professor in the UP College of Law where he teaches Constitutional Law, Legal Method, and Local Government Law. Before he entered the academe in 1998, he practiced law through public interest law offices working with rural poor communities involved in environment and natural resources law, indigenous people's rights, agrarian reform, and local governance.
He graduated with a Bachelor's Degree from Ateneo de Manila (B.S. Legal Management) in 1987 and a law degree (LLB) from the University of the Philippines in 1991. He holds Masters Degrees from Vermont Law School (cum laude) and the University of California, Los Angeles.
This paper is a scoping of public interest issues in Philippine oil and gas production. It is a preliminary examination of these issues for the use of Bantay Kita and other civil society organizations concerned with the extractive industries.
The scoping was instructed by primary data from interviews with key informants and secondary data—from relevant laws, reports from the Department of Energy (DOE), and other documents and literature.
About the Author:
Fatima Alvarez Castillo is a UP Centennial and Full Professor of Political Science at the College of Arts & Sciences, University of the Philippines Manila.