MICC eyes to meet next week to address impact of mining companies’ closure on jobs
By Joann Santiago
MANILA (Philippines News Agency) — Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said about 1.2 million Filipinos will be affected by the closure order of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on 21 mining companies.
In a Twitter post Friday afternoon, Dominguez said he is “deeply concerned over the welfare of the 1.2 million people affected by the closure of the 23 PH (Philippine) mines.”
“This will result to joblessness,” he added.
In an interview by reporters at the sidelines of the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) 40th year anniversary in Le Pavilion in Pasay City, the Finance chief said some members of the inter-agency Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) have discussed the issue and the possible programs to help affected families.
“We are trying to meet as early as possible. We are just waiting for the response of the other members of the MICC. We want to have it next week, as soon as possible,” he said.
MICC is chaired by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). Its members are the secretaries of the DENR and the Department of Finance (DOF), the Director General of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), the president of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) and representatives of the business, civil society, and the academe.
Dominguez said Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco has suggested that Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo survey the affected people and for the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to prepare emergency hiring.
“Sec. Evasco has suggested that we engage them in a greening program to do tree planting,” he said.
Dominguez said these are still ideas until the Council formally meets and approves any measure.
”The Cabinet is obviously very concerned about unemployment and people not having income so we will put our shoulders to the wheel to address that issue first,” he said.
Another area that would be affected by this issue is state revenues.
Dominguez said local government units (LGUs) will be directly affected more than the national government in terms of lower tax collection.
“They use that money to hire people locally. That’s why we asked the treasurers already to give us quick round assessment of how much is going to be lost in revenues,” he said.
In the long-run the impact of this problem on government revenues will also impact on domestic output, he added.
The affected mining companies are BenguetCorp Nickel Mines Inc., Eramen Minerals Inc., LNL Archipelago Minerals Inc., Zambales Diversified Metals Corporation, Mount Sinai Mining Exploration and Development Corp., Emir Minerals Corp., Techiron Mineral Resources Inc., AAMPHIL Natural Resources Exploration, Oriental Synergy Mining Corp., SinoSteel Philippines HY Mining Corp., Kromico Inc., Oriental Vision Mining Philippines Corp., Wellex Mining Corp., Libjo Mining Corp., Adnama Mining Resources, Inc., Claver Mineral Development Corp., Hinatuan Mining Corp., CTP Construction Mining Corp., Carrascal Nickel Corp., Marcventures Mining and Development Corp., and Platinum Development Corp.
They were given a 15-day leeway to appeal the DENR order, which will be submitted to the Office of the President for final approval. (PNA)