The top five presidential candidates in the Philippines discussed their views on mining in the country as it remains a relevant issue for potential foreign investors.
In an interview with Boy Abunda, Senator Manny Pacquiao stated that he is open to the continuation of open-pit mining in the nation, but in very small amounts.
Meanwhile, Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno wants to widen the value chain for the local mining industry, calling for an expansion of the industries that use the raw materials extracted from the ground.
Senator Ping Lacson specifically called attention to illegal small-scale mining as it remains unregulated, polluting, and dangerous even though it accounts for 70% of the gold exports in the country.
Vice President Robredo indicated that she wants to reimpose Duterte’s open-pit mining ban on open-pit until a land-use reform law is passed.
Lastly, Former Senator Marcos’ answer focused on a potential nickel mining industry in the Philippines that will supply raw materials to the world’s battery industry.
Last December the Department of Environment and National Resources lifted the ban on open pit mining, raising divided opinion among politicians and environmentalists.Due to a history of damaging mining accidents, the industry remains to be very politically sensitive.
PSA Philippine Consultancy reported that the discussion lacks the topic of which country the international partners for Philippine mining will come from.
The agency emphasized that if the investors came from countries with strict environmental rules and regulations, the mining industry could have less damage and environmental risk to the country.