MANILA, Philippines – The government needs to revitalize the mining and manufacturing sectors to create more jobs and achieve economic growth according to Vice President Jejomar Binay in his speech at the opening of the 39th Philippine Business Conference and Expo yesterday.
Binay is pushing for the revitalization of both the manufacturing and mining sectors as these are seen to support economic growth.
Attracting investments in both sectors, the VP said would not only provide jobs but also give individuals higher incomes.
“On the latter, the Philippines is one of the most mineralized countries in the world and given the value of metals in the world, this sector can boost our level of economic development several notches higher, so long as we put in place proper environmental safeguards, and ensure that working conditions meet decent work international guidelines and activities in the Investment Priorities Plan (IPP) for 2012 and beyond,” he said.
He noted that mining could be accepted provided that there is responsibility, accountability and sustainability.
“With many experiences from the outside world, the Philippines certainly can learn from the best mining practices that creates a balance in economic development through harnessing natural resources and protecting the environment,” he said.
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While there is interest from mining firms to invest in the country, they have been on a wait-and-see attitude as the government has yet to come up with a new revenue sharing scheme.
The Chamber of Mines of the Philippines has said earlier that without a new revenue sharing scheme in place, the country may miss the $16 billion mining The government wants to come up with a revenue sharing scheme from mining to get a bigger share from operations.
At present, mining firms pay the regular corporate income tax, two percent excise tax, business tax, royalty payments for indigenous peoples directly affected by mining operations, and royalty for mineral products extracted from mineral reservations.
To achieve economic growth, Binay also said addressing the power supply situation would be necessary amid the pronouncements of limited power supply here.
This, as businesses will not be able to expand without enough power supply.
Binay also said there is also a need to develop infrastructure to promote economic growth.