Senator Joel Villanueva lauded on Monday the latest achievement of the Philippines by being the first country to meet all the requirements of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).
The EITI is an internationally recognized framework and practice that monitors revenue and public benefit from mining and other extractive resources.
According to the 'Validation' report which is the EITI’s independent evaluation mechanism, the Philippines has gone beyond the minimum requirements set by the EITI standard. These areas include disclosing information on the legal and fiscal framework, disclosing contracts, revenue management, revenue expenditure and social expenditures.
The report also stated that the engagement of the PH-EITI in formulating recommendations for reform and driving these proposals in the sector, including the distribution of mining revenue from central to local levels and revenue management within local governments, “has ensured the EITI has had tangible impact, particularly in terms of reform of government systems.”
It also added that the EITI Board considered that the Philippines has achieved the broader objective of revenue transparency despite challenges in covering the coal sector. The report, however, emphasized the need that the coal sector participated in the EITI.
The bill does not only cover mining but also other sectors in the extractive industry such as oil, gas, coal and all other sectors that require the extraction of non-renewable natural resources for commercial use.
The PH-EITI shall be composed of a broad coalition of stakeholders, including representatives from the government, the private sector, the indigenous community, and non-governmental organizations. It will be headed by a Chairman appointed by the President.
“We laud this achievement and we see the importance of transparency in policy making particularly in extractives. It is important that the EITI also covers other sector like the small-scale mining and non-metallic sector like quarry which is being done in most areas. To ensure smooth and effective implementation, I propose that it be institutionalized to mainstream transparency and participatory governance in the extractive sector,” Villanueva said.