Lifting of ban on new mining projects can help PH recover from recession – by Madelaine B. Miraflor (Manila Bulletin – August 25, 2020)


The immediate lifting of Executive Order (EO) 79, which is the moratorium on new mining projects imposed during the time of former President Benigno Aquino 3rd, can help the Philippine economy recover from the pandemic-triggered recession, a Department of Finance (DOF) official said.

An official at the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP), an organization of some of the country’s largest mining operations, thinks so too, but said the government should forego the conditions of EO 79.

These conditions include the ban on the approval of new mineral agreements until a new tax regime in mining is passed because mining firms are already overburdened by taxes.

In an interview, Finance Assistant Secretary Maria Teresa Habitan said that she remained hopeful that a new mining tax will soon be passed despite the lack of progress in both houses of Congress.

DOF is the government agency leading the Duterte Administration’s push for a new fiscal regime on mining. In 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte has warned mining companies that he will tax them “to death” and even threatened to stop them from exporting minerals amid alleged violations of environmental laws.

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