Bantay Kita’s Program Manager Ms. Tina Pimentel presented the economics of mining to a gathering of local chief executives, public administration experts, civil society groups, and community representatives last November 13, 2015 in an event organized by Alyansa Tigil Mina.
The National Policy Dialogue on Local Autonomy and Mining was intended to discuss issues around local autonomy and mining. One of the areas it focused on is that of the legal validity and legal challenges on local legislation confronting local government units that oppose or ban mining applications and projects. Atty. Dante Gatmaytan of the UP College of Law gave the audience a clearer perspective on the various legal bases by which local government units can hinge their local legislation on mining.
Governor Ruth Padilla of Nueva Vizcaya spoke about their recently passed environmental code and also their experiences with mining in the province particularly on non-payments of some mining companies. Governor Alfonso Umali of Oriental Mindoro, represented by his chief of staff, also aired his concerns about mining in his province and also elaborated on their local legislation banning mining activities in the province.
In a presentation titled: “The economics of mining: taxes and revenues from mining, are they worth it?”, Ms. Pimentel talked about the miniscule economic contribution of mining both in the national and local level. Using Philippine EITI data and Bantay Kita extrapolation, she emphasized the insignificant share that the government gets from mineral extraction. She also mentioned about how local government units are getting so little from mining revenues and how these revenues make a small percentage of their operating income as a result.
The event was held in Astoria Plaza, Ortigas Center.