MINING and quarrying contributed less than a percent of the country’s GDP between 2000 and 2015, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda).
Based on the Mineral Asset Accounts of the Philippines, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said the mining sector only contributed 0.7 percent of GDP and 5.6 percent of total exports.
Pernia added the sector has only been able to generate an average of 236,400 jobs annually between 2011 and 2015.
“Considering its small contribution to the economy and the contentious debate on mining and its links with issues on land-use, environment and social acceptability, the question for us is: How can we harness the full potential of the country’s mineral resources to contribute to economic growth, generate employment and reduce poverty,” Pernia said.
One of the ways to maximize the sector, he added, will begin with the release of the Philippines Wealth Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystem Services (Phil-WAVES) data next year.
Phil-WAVES, which began in 2013, aims to create macroeconomic indicators and develop the national accounts and ecosystem accounts. This will assist in evidence-based decision-making.
Pernia said this will help develop sound and effective policies, especially in the environmental sector.
“The proliferation of illegal small-scale mining activities that adopt destructive mining practices and standards, the limited number of processing plants to create added value to our mineral products, and the lack of an efficient revenue collection and distribution that will ensure the equitable and timely distribution of the mining income to legitimate beneficiaries,” he said.
Earlier, Filipino taxpayers extended a total of P39.74 billion worth of tax perks to businesses in 2013, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
Based on the preliminary results of the PSA’s 2013 Annual Survey of Philippine Business and Industry, this was a 5.8-percent decline, from P42.19 billion in 2010.
The highest subsidy was extended to electricity, gas, steam and air-conditioning supply firms at P9.16 billion, or 23 percent of the total.
This was followed by professional, scientific and technical activities, which received the second-biggest amount of subsidy of 21.3 percent, or P8.45 billion of the total.
Subsidies provided to financial and insurance activities and agriculture, forestry and fishing were 16 percent to P6.38 billion and 15.8 percent to P6.29 billion, respectively.
The subsidies extended to agriculture posted the largest increase of P5.68 billion, from P619.3 million in 2010.