2019 Regulatory Review – Mining
Based on initial survey results of industry stakeholders, these are the regulations that are difficult to comply with:
- Policy uncertainties abound. Since 2011, government has not actively pursued investments in minerals development, focusing instead on reviewing the fiscal regime for mining;
- EO79 (2012) Moratorium on new mining permits until a new mining tax regime is legislated. In the TRAIN 1 package of tax reforms, the excise tax on mining has doubled from 2% to 4% of gross output. The MICC has stated that such increase is not enough to recommend the lifting of the moratorium.
- DENR AO 2017-10: Ban on open pit mining, instituted during the time of the former DENR Secretary, but currently remains in place.
- MINE CLOSURES ORDERED BY SEC. GINA LOPEZ. Over 20 mines were served with closure orders following an audit. With closure orders on appeal, these mines continue to operate, albeit under a cloud.
- LEGACY MINES: Quite a number of old, closed-down mines have not undergone rehabilitation. Although belonging to a different era, they remain as points of attack for the anti-mining groups.
- The DENR and MGB have yet to come out with a clear policy to promote and reinvigorate investments in the mining and minerals processing sector.
- SINGLE VIEW OF THE INDUSTRY: No distinction among the general public of the difference between the formal large-scale sector and the largely illegal small-scale, another contributor to the poor image of the industry.
- PERCEPTION THAT THE INDUSTRY IS NOT PAYING ENOUGH TAXES. As a result, the DOF and Congress have pushed for an overhaul of the fiscal regime for mining, proposing a new royalty and windfall profits tax.
- The Philippine mining industry is now in deep freeze. No new mining agreements have been approved and even projects with approved ECCs and DMPFs have not moved forward.
Atty. Ron S. Recidoro, Executive Director, Chamber of Mines of the Philippines. Presented during the 2019 MGR Forum on Industry Regulatory Review, 15 May 2019.