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Philippines: Transparency is key to development

AGORA moderator's picture

Transparency has remained a key player to good governance and development, an official said.

The Philippine Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (PH-Eiti), the transparency movement in the country under the new administration, is geared to further promote transparency and good governance among all the extractive industry players.

Lawyer Karla Espinosa, PH-Eiti national coordinator, told reporters during the first-leg of the third nationwide roadshow Wednesday, August 10, at the Apo View Hotel, Davao City that the movement renewed boost from the new administration’s pronouncement on transparency, responsible mining and countryside development.

“Perhaps, more than ever, transparency occupies a central place in good governance and the country’s development. PH-Eiti is willing and ready to contribute to moving our nation forward in whatever way we can,” she said.

Since 2012 when the movement was formed, she explained, Eiti is a global standard ensuring transparency of revenues from natural resources. It is a multi-stakeholder initiative led by the government, industry and civil society representatives.

“Eiti provides a platform to systematically report on, review, and assess what is being paid by companies and received by governments through a system of bilateral disclosures,” she said.

“What we provide is a tool that could significantly help in addressing social and environmental issues. It can be used as a tool to strengthen governance of the extractive sector at the local level,” Espinosa added.

Based on its website, the extractive industry consists of any operations that remove metals, mineral and aggregates from the earth.
Oil and gas extraction, mining, dredging and quarrying are some of the examples of extractive processes.

Engineer Romualdo Aguilos of Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), presented the key finding and recommendations of the second PH-Eiti annual country report which was submitted to the EITI International Secretariat last December 30, 2015.

In his presentation, he said the total reconciled collection from extractive firms for 2013 reached a total of P40.7 billion (P5.4 B from Mining, P35.3 B in Oil and Gas). This is down as compared to its 2012 total reconciled collection at P52.8 billion.
Of the P40.7 billion, LGUs percentage share is only at P301.5 million or just one percent of the total collection.
Highest collecting LGUs are Central Visayas at P93 million (30.8 percent of total), Bicol Region (P58 M), Caraga Region (P44 M) and National Capital Region (P31M). Davao Region is off the list.

Of the total collection, 87 percent of total revenues in the mining, oil, and gas sectors are covered by the report.
“The report that we are providing shows direct and indirect contribution of extractives to the economy. This is also to pursue and strengthen the contribution of the extractive industries to sustainable development,” Espinosa said.

Aguilos also said for 2016 they will prioritize the move for the effective communication thru disseminating the findings of the report and discussing its use, influencing policy reform on extractive sector governance and raising the bar of transparency by “disclosing more relevant info, adopting open data policies and sustaining dialogues.”

On its third year, the PH-Eiti nationwide roadshow aims to continue providing a platform for dialogue between government, industry and civil society representatives involved in extractive activities.

The roadshow is targeting to cap the tour with some 600 participants from 13 regions across the country which will be held in six key cities, Davao, Cebu, Baguio, Surigao, Puerto Princesa and Manila.

Source: http://www.sunstar.com.ph/davao/business/2016/08/10/transparency-key-dev...