MANILA - The lifting of the moratorium on new mining projects is "most welcome" especially in this time of "great national difficulty," the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines said Thursday.
Preventing new mining projects is a "major roadblock" to the country's huge potential in terms of economic growth, the chamber said in a statement.
Mining projects that will be allowed to operate will provide additional government revenues in terms of taxes and fees, royalty fees and increase in export value, in addition to employment opportunities for thousands of Filipinos, the group said.
"The removal of this policy roadblock will undoubtedly help encourage both local and foreign investments into the country," the statement said.
"The industry’s positive impact on host communities can be clearly seen in regions around the country where mining has been allowed to flourish, such as in Caraga and MIMAROPA," it added.
The group added that there are "adequate" social and environmental laws in place to mitigate the impact of mining, adding that they have adopted the global standard called Towards Sustainable Mining program.
President Rodrigo Duterte lifted the 9-year moratorium on new mining deals by signing EO 130. The chief executive said that the industry could help revive and support the economy.
But the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) said the measure "will embolden huge foreign corporations in undertaking environmental plunder of our lands."
"More farmers and indigenous peoples will be evicted from their farmlands and residences, as mining corps carve mountains," the KMP said in a statement.