“The solution is not to arbitrarily ban extractive industries, whatever contractual obligations the government has with investors. The solution is to improve governance so that we get the best of both worlds: ensuring the sustainability of our environment on one hand and creating wealth for our people from our natural endowments on the other,” Mr. Dominguez said during a speech at the Philippine Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (PH-EITI) National Conference in Manila which was attended by top miners in the country.
“Good governance, in contrast, should embolden us to attract investments in extractive industries, confident that we will be able to assure sustainable forestry and mining, he added.
“We need to encourage and not suppress extractive industries. They are necessary to help our economy develop, to bring the revenues that government needs, and to create opportunities for the communities that host these industries.”
Mr. Dominguez also noted that “environmental zealots” were not willing to find common ground with the industry, which led to 22 of the country’s 41 metals mines ordered for closure, and five others suspended under the watch of former Environment Secretary Regina Paz L. Lopez.