ATM Statement on the Philippine Withdrawal from EITI
ATM Statement | June 23, 2022
Alyansa Tigil Mina is deeply alarmed, but genuinely not startled, that the government has withdrawn from the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI). This is a concrete example of the government’s betrayal to its environmental and transparency commitments and its continuing patronage to irresponsible mining in the Philippines.
This move by Sec. Dominguez is not surprising, as we have observed in the last three years the increasing disinterest of the Dept. of Finance as convening agency, to consistently promote transparency and accountability in the mining industry. These includes reduced and delayed funding for EITI operations, irregular meetings of the EITI-PH, subdued participation in the EITI validation process last 2021 and partiality to the mining industry by favoring MICC recommendations on the re-opening of mines as part of the post-pandemic economic recovery. This last point failed to specifically access to information concerns.
We also condemn the unilateral decision of the government in withdrawing from the EITI. Dominguez might have forgotten that EITI is a multi-stakeholders mechanism and simple professional courtesy demands at least the informed consent of the other members from the mining industry and civil society.
This withdrawal from EITI eventually exposes the pretentious effort of the Duterte government to promote “responsible mining”, as it backs out from a legitimate, robust and internationally accepted process. We are proven right, that “responsible mining” is indeed fake news.
Our alliance does not share Dominguez’s optimism that the Philippines will “continue to champion better resource and revenue management, and ensure that resource utilization remains open, accountable, and responsive to the needs and aspirations of Filipinos”. Our experience in the past three years point to the contrary, despite still being covered by EITI. The absence of EITI-Ph mechanisms and platforms can only further weaken any accountability from government regulators.
We hope that this move to withdraw from EITI is not part of the re-entry plan of Sec. Dominguez to the extractive industry when he steps down from his government position on June 30, 2022. Surely, if there is a one relevant and material support that a government official can extend to an industry, further de-regulating it is on top of the list.
The Philippines will lose credibility among industry players and champions of transparency and accountability in the global mining industry with this withdrawal and attract the less responsible and more speculative junior mining companies to the country.
Ultimately, the whole nation in general, and the mine-affected communities in particular, are the true losers in this withdrawal from the EITI by the Philippine government.
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