In a recently held forum in the Asian Development Bank last November 25, 2015, Dr. Cielo Magno of Bantay Kita presented on the lessons learned from civil society’s role and engagement in Philippine implementation of EITI.
Dr. Magno, national coordinator of Bantay Kita, discussed key questions that the EITI report tries to answer and these are: how much are we getting from mining, oil and gas companies; are payments declared by companies the same as payments received by the government; why are there differences between company and government declarations; what are the gaps in existing government systems that were identified by the report; and what are the next steps to address these gaps.
The gaps she mentioned were the inadequate monitoring of indigenous peoples (IPs) royalties, environmental fees, and social development funds among others. She mentioned some of BK’s initiatives and advocacies in addressing these gaps such as capacity-building for IPs and also subnational programs including the organization’s push to activate the various subnational institutions set in place by law to monitor extractive industries (e.g., provincial mining and regulatory board, mining monitoring team, and the mine rehabilitation fund committee).
She ended her presentation with the various policy reforms BK is advocating for which includes policy on freedom of information, mining taxation reforms, institutionalization of transparency and accountability initiatives, and incentives rationalization among others.