Press Release
February 22, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara, Chair of the Congressional Commission on Science Technology and Engineering (COMSTE) said that the country should attract and take advantage of investments in mining, while ensuring the protection of natural habitats and encouraging social development in communities.

Angara noted that several mining firms funded a total of P35.9 million worth of community based projects in the vicinity of mining operations. Republic Act 7942, The New Philippine Mining Act requires mining operators to implement programs that will benefit their host communities. The programs are called Social Development and Management Programs (SDMPs), which are funded based on 1.5 percent of operating costs of mining companies.

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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