Manila, Jan 14 (IANS) The Philippines will harness the mining sector’s potential as a driver for long-term economic expansion as the Southeast Asian country recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said in a statement.
“The mining industry holds the greatest potential to be a key driver in our recovery and long-term growth, especially now that the world metal prices are high,” Xinhua news agency quoted Diokno as saying.
After all, he said, the Philippines is one of the world’s most richly endowed countries in terms of mineral resources.
“As such, we will harness the potential of the extractive sector to drive long-term economic expansion,” he noted.
Diokno said the government is revisiting areas where it can enhance the policy environment and explore new opportunities for high and broad-based growth aligned with the emerging trends in the global economy.
Aside from mining, the Minister said the Philippines is committed to making the country competitive in the semiconductor and electronics industry, which is the top contributor to the country’s manufacturing sector and represents the country’s largest export sector.
He expressed optimism that the sector’s output will expand in the next 12 months.
Diokno said the Philippines is also pursuing an energy transition and has opened up the renewable energy sector to full foreign ownership.
A more liberalised renewable energy sector will quicken the country’s transition towards a clean, affordable and desirable mix of energy sources, creating more green jobs.
In November last year, President Ferdinand Marcos directed the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to sharpen its regulatory powers on small and large-scale mining.
Marcos said he wants to legalize the operation of small-scale mining firms.