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Mindanao natural resource governance confab ends

DAVAO CITY – A two-day conference on natural resource governance organized by the Philippine Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (PH-EITI) was held in Davao City in southern Philippines.

The organizer said the conference was attended by representatives from the Department of Interior and Local Government, Chamber of Mines of the Philippines, Mines and Geosciences Bureau, Alternate Forum for Research in Mindanao, and local government officials from Davao del Norte and South Cotabato.

It said the ttimely release of shares of the local government units from the national wealth, environment protection and local community development programs were among the issues discussed during the forum and workshop entitled “Natural Resource Governance: Making Transparency Matter” held on August 5 and 6 at Waterfront Insular Hotel.

The event provided an opportunity for the local government and the community to have a better understanding of the EITI standards, processes and implementation.

“The EITI report can bring us better perspective on how we can further develop our reporting for full transparency in the extractive industries and improve our local policies on the use of natural resources.”

“Let’s build on the capacity of local government units to collect data and make reporting and accomplishing frameworks friendly to users. Moreover, we need to create strategies to benefit from mining revenues to develop initiative that will benefit the community in the mining areas,” said  Neiljun Esdrilon, Samal City councilor and Vice-President of  the Philippine Councilors League – Mindanao Executive Board.

The Philippines submitted its first country report to the EITI International Board on December 29, 2014. The PH-EITI report contains financial disclosures of 30 large-scale metallic mining companies and 6 oil and gas companies for the year 2012, covering a total of P2.7 billion in revenue.

Organizer said while the EITI process is not expected to provide solutions to all issues related to the extractives, it can provide a platform for discussion of such issues.

Wilhelm Suyko, DILG assistant regional director, who was among those in the conference, emphasized the need for continuous discussion on policy issues that concern the extractive industries.

“There should be a continuous dialogue on the legalities of extraction so that the national policies on mining can be supplemented and understood at the local level,” he said.

The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative is a global coalition of governments, companies and civil society working together to improve openness and management of revenues from natural resources. Countries implement the EITI Standard to ensure full disclosure of taxes and other payments made by oil, gas and mining companies to governments. (Mindanao Examiner)



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