The mining sector’s contribution to the Philippine GDP amounts to 0.9 percent on average. It reached its peak in 2007, having contributed 1.4% of the country’s GDP. With this very low input to GDP, does our country really benefit from the mining industry? Is it worth it?
In the Investor’s Prospectus on Philippine Mining (2007) published by the Minerals Development Council, it is said that the mining process will promote sustainable development in the Philippines, highlighting major environmental and economic impacts which include higher tax revenues and a lower unemployment rate. However, when we look into reality, it’s the other way around. Mining has been a big hazard to the environment. Mine tailings have damaged many aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. More than that, it has been detrimental to residential communities. Rehabilitation efforts have been very little as compared to damages inflicted by mining operations. Aside from these, it is clearly stated in the figures how far the actual economic contribution of the mining industry is to the projected values. For example, the Php6M annual mining tax revenue collection is very very far from the Php21B estimate.
BUT are these figures really accurate? Maybe we really do benefit from the mining industry. Maybe these figures aren’t as low as they appear to be. Maybe all we need is more transparency and accountability.