Monday, September 22, 2008

Mining investment in Davao is the top performer in the Philippines!

Davao Region is expected to be the top-performing region in the Philippines if and when mining operations led by foreign-owned mining firms are allowed go full blast.

This was according to the region's National Economic Development Authority (Neda) director, Nicanor Agustin, on the issue of increasing mining investments in this part of the country.

"Mining remains the only hope for the Davao Region to boost and sustain its growth and development," Agustin said.

The Neda regional director said if more mining investments come into the Davao Region and more mining activities increase, "Davao can surpass other regions in the country and be the top performing region nationwide."

The flurry of activities in the mining sector was credited for boosting and propping up the sagging Davao region economy last year, enabling it to post a robust 6.7 per cent growth in the total 2007 Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP).

According to statistics released recently by Neda, mining posted an impressive 11 percent growth last year pushing the growth in the industry sector to 9.6 percent, offsetting the sluggish growth in the agriculture sector and slight decline in the services sector.

Agustin, however, cautioned that the government will only advocate "responsible mining" to safeguard the environment and health of people living around or near the mining areas.

"When we talk of mining, we only mean responsible mining. We don't want to see indiscriminate diggings or large extractions that only leaves behind destruction and devastation, wiping out our forests and rivers," Augustin said.

The Neda director warned that the government will only give permits and licenses to mining companies that can afford to invest in new mining technology that protects the environment even while digging for minerals under the ground.

Trade Undersecretary Merly Cruz expressed optimism that the various mining investments now flowing into the Davao Region will contribute to the sustained growth in the region.

"As long as we stick to responsible mining with the government overseeing its operations very closely, the revitalized mining industry can be sustained over the long term and contribute substantially to the growth of the region," she said.




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