Malacanang has issued an executive order lifting the ban on new mineral agreements, which was imposed in 2012 during the term of ex-President Aquino upon the instigation of green activists and environment watchdogs.
Under Executive Order No. 130, the door is now wide open for the revitalization of the local mining industry which has been hibernating for the past nine years, as new projects may now be pursued and existing ones reviewed for possible re-negotiation of terms.
The lifting of the nine-year moratorium imposed by Mr. Aquino, sources said, was spurred by the pressing need to resuscitate the pandemic-battered economy.
The DENR said some P21 billion in revenues are going to be realized immediately via 100 mining projects in the pipeline.
The projects should have been in full-scale operation right now if not for EO 79 that halted issuance of MPSAs (mineral production sharing agreements).
With the new EO 130, stalled mining projects would be able to operate and provide badly-needed revenues for the government in taxes and royalties, as well as employment for millions of people throughout the archipelago.
The removal of the moratorium will surely encourage entry of local and foreign investors, and help bring the Philippines back to the investment map in the ASEAN region, according to the Chamber of Mines.
PHOTO: REUTERS/Erik De Castro