Dominguez bats for revival of mining industry to generate jobs

Warren de Guzman, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 07 2020 12:44 PM

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III during a press briefing at the Imperial Palace Botique Hotel in Seoul, Republic of Korea on June 5, 2018. Alfred Frias, Malacanang Photo/File

MANILA - Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said Wednesday the mining industry in the country must be revived to generate jobs especially in rural areas.

During the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s 46th Philippine Business Conference & Exposition, Dominguez also called out the Board of Investments of the Trade Department for not doing enough marketing to bring in more businesses leaving China.

"Definitely we are pushing for the revival of the mining industry. Mining provides jobs in areas where there are no other alternative jobs. So we are pushing for the revival of the mining industry because they provide good jobs in rural areas," Dominguez said.

"We are also working very closely with DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) and MGB (Mines and Geosciences Bureau) to really push mining to open again," he said.

Former DENR Secretary Gina Lopez targetted illegal mining activities in the country during her short stint in office.

Mining operations have also been hampered by coronavirus restrictions. However, a recent directive released by the Department of Trade and Industry has allowed the sector to operate at 100 percent capacity. 

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Dominguez also called out the Bureau of Investments for not doing enough marketing to encourage companies moving out of China to transfer to the Philippines. 

Dominguez said the BOI should talk directly to these companies to help them set-up shop in the country. The CREATE bill, which intends to lower corporate income taxes, could help them, he said.

"What are trade attaches doing, have they identified companies moving out of China. I said the most important thing is to talk directly to these companies. I do not want to criticize the BOI but the BOI does not see itself as a marketing organization," he said.

The BOI should identify which companies should come in, especially in industries that still do not have a presence here, he said.

"Why doesn't the BOI go out and say this is the industry we want to come in...BOI should go out and say these companies are the ones we want to come in," Dominguez said.