Analyst: Remove policies that hinder extraction of “green” minerals

Semirara Mining operations not suspended by DENR

Stratbase ADR Institute President Victor Andres C. Manhit says that policies impeding the extraction of “green minerals” need to be eliminated in order to accelerate the transition to renewable energy (RE).

In a report by Business World, Manhit said that even though the country is known to have untapped mineral deposits, there should be urgency in broadening the capacity to utilize these resources as it could respond to the increasing demand brought about by the clean energy transition.

A promising policy, Manhit added, could unleash the potential of the mining industry. 

This include streamlining permits and regulation procedures for mining projects, coordinating national and local mining taxation, sorting out regulatory hurdles, and constituting competitive mining fiscal regimes, among others.

With the Philippines aiming to expand its renewable energy (RE) share in its generation mix to 35% by 2030 and 50% by 2040, copper, cobalt, and nickel would play a crucial role in the formation of solar panels, electric vehicles, and lithium-ion batteries.

However, Green Thumb Coalition convener Jaybee Garganera cautioned that the extraction of these resources should not be done at the cost of the environment and the surrounding communities near the mining sites.

Garganera added that in this goal to transition, the government and the industry should spare from creating more ‘sacrifice zones’ or communities and ecosystems that are harmed for profit and revenue in pursuit of meeting the global demand for nickel.

Meanwhile, Developers of Renewable Energy for Advancement, Inc. president Atty. Jay Layug said that the market had always been poised to modify itself when it recognized the demand for more raw materials, that is, to generate more when it sensed a need for more.