Forum on extractive transparency held
The Philippine Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (PH-EITI) conducted the 2017 LGU Roadshow 2 at the Newtown Plaza Hotel in Baguio City.
The roadshow brought together key stakeholders from local government units (LGUs) hosting extractive industries, national government agencies, civil society organizations, and the extractive companies. Representatives from Provincial Treasury, Accounting, Planning and Development, Environment and Natural Resources Offices, and the Public Affairs and Information Assistance Division attended the said forum.
Despite the fact that Nueva Vizcaya is against the operation of mining companies in the province, mining companies still operate as it is guided by legal process in the national level.
The forum, in cooperation with the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) and Bantay Kita, aimed to promote local development though sustained disclosure and dialogue with the extractive industries operating in Region 02 and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR). PH-EITI aims to help strengthen natural resource governance and ensure the extractive activities benefit local communities in a sustainable way. Other major venues of the forum will also be held this August across the country.
PH-EITI aims to disclose payment of the extractive company to the government and discloses how much the government had received. PH-EITI increases awareness and understanding of the people to the operation of extractive companies.
Based on the 2014 Data, the total reconciled collections from the extractive industries was Php53.9 billion, of which Php11.4bn came from mining. OceanaGold in Didipio Mine shares 10.4% or Php33,353,319 but the province has not received the amount yet.
A workshop using the PH-EITI Report as a tool for local development and its implementation at the sub-national level was conducted. It was recommended that PH-EITI data should be published in a language or dialect used by the local community to understand the report well. The outputs in the workshop will be the focus for next year’s forum.
PH-EITI also conducted workshop on the Enhanced Environment and Natural Resource Data Management Tool (ENRDMT) which was attended by treasurers and accountants. And consultation workshop on implementing the monitoring tool for Indigenous Peoples (IPs) Royalty and Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to fulfill the legal rights of the IPs and responsibilities of the extractives companies in the extraction of mineral resources within ancestral domains in the country.
In Region 02 and CAR, only the Philex Mining Corporation in Benguet had paid IP Royalties within areas with Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title.
To date, only 36 companies are enrolled to PH-EITI. It was suggested during the forum that participation to the PH-EITI should be mandatory to the extractive companies operating in the country. FCF Minerals Corporation operating in Runruno, Quezon is not enrolled to PH-EITI.
The LGU and the IPs should receive its rightful share in the revenue gained by the extractive companies. “They should automatically pay taxes to the local government. Our term (as government officials) comes to an end, but the LGUs have not received payments yet,” the Mayor of Mankayan in Benguet said. #bg