Closure of mining industry may affect GDP – NEDA

Closure of mining industry may affect GDP – NEDA

The closure of the mining industry in the Philippines will affect the gross domestic product of the country, a National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) official said.

NEDA Director for Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment Mercedita Sombilla said that is one of the risks and factors of total closure of mining in the country.

“What is really clear on my part is that total closure of mining will really have an impact on our attainment of GDP,” Sombilla said at the sidelines of the 2016 Philippine Mining International Conference on August 29.

The NEDA official added that the mining industry contributed 0.7 percent to the 2015 GDP, citing data form the Mines and Geosciences Bureau.

A road map for the mining industry is also being completed by the government, Sombilla said.

One of the things that we would really want to see also is the downstream development of these minerals. We want to pursue that with a very good study so that’s why we are developing the roadmap of these minerals, for coal, gold. We have already one for copper and I think the nickel [roadmap] is already ongoing,” she said.

A road map will give the government a view of the pros and cons of the mining industry, Sombilla said. She added that the government knows the contributions of the mining sector to the country’s economy.

“I think that what is being done now is to review, evaluate what are already in place. The auditing that is being done was mandated by the DENR secretary. [It] will provide us with some directions on where we really should go.”

Sombilla added that the mining audit done by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) would also help the government improve the industry.

“She [Environment Secretary Regina Lopez] has to consider this as a totality, how this could impact on the development of the economy. The audit will help us see what is happening in the existing operating mines, what we can learn from, how we strengthen them, how we can make them more responsible in terms of how responsible mining is defined,” she said.

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