Press Release
January 20, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara, Chair of the Congressional Commission on Science Technology and Engineering (COMSTE) called for a strategic plan that would enable the country to attract and take advantage of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI's), specifically in mining, the while ensuring the protection of natural habitats and indigenous communities.

Angara noted a UN study released this week showed that developing countries received more than half of the global total FDIs for 2010. This trend was noticeable especially in the South East Asian region where countries received as much as 5 times FDI, while that of the Philippines is in decline.

Boosting the competitiveness of the country is a key factor in receiving more FDI s, said Angara.

Angara said that despite the decline in FDI, with the local mining industry boom, the potential for S&T development is still enormous. Benjamin Romualdez, President of the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines reported that there are 19 large mining projects lined up with a total investment of nearly $13 Billion.

Romualdez noted that the growth of the mining industry in the country is translated to over $3 Billion to the economy.

"By strategizing our policies, we can take advantage of the situation and benefit from possible technology transfer and job creation brought by new and expanding mining projects," said Angara.

COMSTE reports that the potential positive impact on S&T is enormous. The commission has also identified possible areas that can profit from investments in mining, such as the supplying highly skilled engineers and tech workers, creating supply companies to support mining operations, biodiversity studies and even environmental labs that can study and treat waste water.

Angara noted that there are potentially thousands of jobs that can be created if we can position ourselves and leverage the billions of dollars into projects that can expand along with mining operations.

COMSTE reports indicate that the Tampakan mining project alone has the potential to bring in up to $5 billion. The project has estimated deposits of 12.8 million metric tons of copper and 15.2 million ounces of gold.

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