For countries with mineral resources, the possibility of relying upon their mining sector for economic growth exists. However, it is far from certain that a country which taps its minerals for growth will succeed. What is crucial is that a country works to ensure that overall benefits derived from mining outweigh overall costs.
In the Philippines, Executive Order (EO) 79 was issued by President Benigno Aquino III to promote reforms in the mining sector. However, issues remain on how national and local policies and actions toward mining can be made more consistent, how environmental sustainability can be ensured, and how the social welfare of affected communities can be improved. The benefits derived from mining (e.g. taxes, fees and royalties) should be carefully weighed against the costs from mining (e.g. environmental damage, displacement of indigenous peoples).
Moving forward, efforts should be pursued to manage the development of the Philippine mining sector in accordance with a specific framework. Encouraging greater domestic processing of minerals is one of the requirements of a more competitive mining sector. However, having the proper mix of policies to develop the sector is an important primary step towards attaining better outcomes.