The Philippines received the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Chair Award last February 24, 2015 during the EITI International Conference in Lima, Peru. The EITI cited the Philippines for its impact in assessing and identifying needed policy reforms in the natural resource governance sector of the country. The award was received by Sec. Cesar Purisima of the Department of Finance.
The Philippines multi-stakeholders group (MSG) decided to go beyond the minimum requirements in EITI reporting. Philippine EITI reporting includes reconciliation of payments and fees of mining and oil and gas companies to the government and the disclosure of documents related to the industry like contracts, and social and environmental reports. These documents are now available online in the PH-EITI website. This is the first time these documents were made available to the public. PH-EITI has served as a mechanism to access information regarding the extractive industry in the absence of the freedom of information law.
For 2013, the PH-EITI reported total payments to the government amounting to Php 5.3 billion from the mining sector. According to Bantay Kita, the civil society coalition working on EITI, this is about 18% of the total income of the industry. The PH-EITI report identified several gaps in environmental governance that requires attention of the government. This includes weak monitoring on environmental compliance of companies and the payment of royalties to indigenous communities and bureaucratic challenges in transferring and determining accurate local governments’ share in national wealth.
Philippine EITI member Dr. Cielo Magno, national coordinator of Bantay Kita-Publish What You Pay Philippines and assistant professor in the School of Economics of the University of the Philippines, was also elected to the international board of EITI. This is the highest governing body of EITI.
The Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) is a global initiative to strengthen natural resource governance. It is currently being implemented in 49 countries.