The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) infused an additional $5 million equivalent to more than P280 million to support the desired increase in the production of minerals and expand downstream mining industries in the country.
US Ambassador to the Philippine Mary Kay Carlson explained that under the said initiative being funded by the US government, the USAID will be working with industry actors in high-tech fields such as electric vehicle components and information and communication technologies, while improving governance standards in the Philippine mining industry.
“I encourage everyone to play an active role in ensuring inclusive growth and development from mining activities. This includes communities living near mining sites to support sustainable livelihoods, particularly for women and indigenous communities,” Ambassador Carlson stressed.
According to her, collaboration and partnership remains at the core of the US government’s efforts to ensure a sustainable and responsible mining regime that leaves no one behind.
Further, she added that empowering the local workforce is equally important as together the US and the Philippine governments can co-develop training and employment programs that will expand livelihood and economic opportunities for local residents, allowing communities to become more resilient and self-sufficient, even after the life of a mine ends.
She expressed confidence that the US and Philippine mining industries will find new pathways to continue supporting the development of the mining industry, keeping in mind their shared values, objectives and responsibilities.
She disclosed that one of the goals of the endeavor is to establish a one-stop shop that will allow accessible processing of mining permits to be able to attract more foreign companies to invest in the country’s mineral industry, the Philippines being the fifth mineralized country in the world.
For his Party, US Embassy Commercial Counselor Paul Taylor claimed that the assistance that will be extended by USAID will definitely contribute in improving the capacity of mining companies to operate in an environmentally appropriate and sustainable manner as well as provide trainings that will allow the mining sector to be catalysts for countryside development in the long term.
Taylor explained that mining is a technology-driven industry that is why there are already big and small US companies that have heavily invested in Philippine mining ranging from the provisions of the appropriate machineries to geo-special studies making the industry also dependent on US investments and technology.
He added that US investments in the Philippines are also focused in critical minerals such as nickel, copper and cobalt which are now becoming in the production of electronic vehicles and battery storage following the ongoing shift from the use of fossil fuel to renewable energy to help effectively and efficiently address the potential threats of climate change to the world’s vulnerable population.