Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has welcomed the announcement of the International Board of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) declaring the Philippines as the first country to have successfully obtained a ‘satisfactory progress’ assessment under the 2016 EITI Standard.
“The forum that EITI provides has been indispensable to achieving mutually beneficial collaboration between all stakeholders in the country. With the proper governance framework in place, the extractive industries may do what they do without causing harm,” said Dominguez, who is at the helm of Philippine EITI (PH-EITI).
“To achieve that, they must be transparent and the communities ever watchful. I trust that the international recognition we have received will further spur our nation to build institutions of accountability and enterprises that are better able to serve the common good,” the finance chief said.
Beginning in January this year, the Philippines underwent the validation process of the EITI, a Norway-based international initiative that promotes open and accountable management of extractive industries, including the mining and oil and gas sectors.
The process culminated in the EITI Board’s decision announced on October 5, placing the country in the historic position of being the first in EITI compliance and serving as a model for other implementing countries, according to Finance Assistant Secretary Teresa Habitan, a board member of the EITI representing the implementing country constituency in Southeast Asia and the Pacific.
A statement released by the EITI Board said, “the Philippines presents a dynamic case of EITI implementation, with its fast-paced and innovative multi-stakeholder group engaging in strategic discussions linking the EITI to national priorities for the extractive sector”. It also said that “EITI has also built trust in a country where the mining sector has often been contentious”.
Referring to the Philippines’ Validation, Fredrik Reinfeldt, chair of the EITI, said: “I congratulate the Philippines on its use of the EITI Standard to build trust, generate public debate and inform policy, which serves as an example to other countries. Meeting all the EITI requirements is a milestone for the EITI and, more importantly, a significant achievement for all the stakeholders in the Philippines that have supported EITI implementation. I urge them to continue to ensure progress, particularly in the coal sector where further work is needed to ensure full transparency.”
Earlier, the Philippines earned several citations for best practices in the implementation of global standards on the management of mining resources during the 37th EITI board meeting held in Oslo, Norway last May.
Habitan was the head of the Philippine delegation to the Oslo meeting.
The 38th EITI board meeting will be held in Manila on October 25-26 this year.