Revival of mining pushed

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    A view of nickel-ore mine SR Metals in Tubay, Agusan del Sur. (Reuters file photo)

    The Department of Finance (DOF) is pushing for the revival of the mining industry for job generation, while also eyeing to privatize mining assets.

    Carlos Dominguez, DOF secretary, said at the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s 46th Philippine Business Conference and Expo yesterday the DOF is working closely with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau to push mining to open again.

    “The mining industry provides jobs in areas where there are no other alternative jobs,” Dominguez said.

    In July, the DENR said some mines shut down by the previous leadership of the agency have been allowed to reopen after complying with corrective measures.

    Dominguez said he has asked the Privatization Management Office (PMO) to work on the privatization of state mining assets after complete review of the mining assets held by the government.

    “I have asked them to push the revival, the privatization of Nonoc mines, of Basay mines and all the other mines that are held by the government,” he added.

    Listed under the PMO’s “assets for sale” in its website are mining claims on Basay Mining Corp., Hercules Minerals and Oils Inc., Marinduque Mining and Industrial Corp. and Nonoc Mining and Industrial Corp., with the latter also including machineries and equipment located in Surigao.

    In the same event, Dominguez said government is willing to provide assistance to the airline industry, which has been reeling from the impact of the corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

    But he noted private banks are expected to shoulder a big chunk of the support.

    “We are in deep discussions with them and we are prepared to participate in the assistance to the airline industry. Whatever assistance we have or we are going to provide will be part only of the entire process. The private sector banks have to cough up majority of the assistance,” he said, adding “government does not want to end up owning airlines.”

    “They have prepared at least four or five plans for their finances,” he added.

    Dominguez expressed confidence that the country could regain its growth momentum by next year should the government and businesses work together to revive consumer confidence and domestic demand.

    “On the part of the government, I can assure you that we will continue to maintain a pro-business environment for our enterprises to prosper. Together, we will overcome the challenges of this year and provide our people the inclusive economy they deserve,” Dominguez said. (A. Celis)