PH-EITI launches 3rd nationwide roadshow

To further promote transparency and good governance in the Philippines' extractives sector, the Philippine Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (PH-EITI) is conducting its 3rd nationwide roadshow in August and September 2016, aiming to reach around 600 participants from 13 regions across the country, through a series of fora to be held in six key cities, namely, Davao, Cebu, Baguio, Surigao, Puerto Princesa, and Manila.

Now on its third run, the roadshow aims to continue providing a platform for dialogue between government, industry and civil society representatives that have a stake in extractive activities involving mining, oil and gas. Since its inception in 2012, PH-EITI has undertaken to identify gaps in government systems and formulate corresponding recommendations through a reporting and monitoring system aligned with international standards.

*The EITI process requires mining, oil and gas companies to disclose what they pay to the government, and the government to publish what they collect from these companies, to surface any discrepancy and recommend ways to address the same. It has also led to the disclosure of mining contracts with government, memoranda of agreement (MOAs) with Indigenous Peoples, company-maintained environmental funds, and other information that enable stakeholders to participate in issues surrounding extractives.

This year, with the theme, "PH-EITI: MAKING TRANSPARENCY WORK FOR YOU", the forum will showcase the findings of the latest PH-EITI Country Report as well as updates on actions taken to implement the recommendations, with the objective of ascertaining that the EITI process translates into reforms that improve governance of the extractives sector and ensure that the country truly benefits from extractive activities.

The event will also have sessions on pressing topics such as the share of local governments in national wealth and the management of environmental and social development funds, and provide opportunities for group discussion and action planning.

Says Atty. Karla Espinosa, national coordinator of PH-EITI, "The movement for transparency in the extractives sector got a renewed boost from the new Administration's pronouncements on transparency and responsible mining and even on countryside development." She conveys, "Perhaps now more than ever, transparency occupies a central place in good governance and the country's development, and PH-EITI is willing and ready to contribute to moving our nation forward in whatever way we can." "While challenges remain, the new Administration inspires hope and optimism that reforms can be done and change can happen."

Major challenges for PH-EITI include the continuing refusal of Semirara Mining and Power Corporation, which corners more than 90% of the country's coal production, to participate in the initiative, thereby leaving a huge gap in the data for the coal sector.

The PH-EITI Roadshow kicks off in the President's City of Davao, at the Apo View Hotel on August 10, 2016. (PH-EITI)

Source: Philippine Information Agency

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