Reduce red tape, DMCI Mining urges

THE mining subsidiary of listed DMCI Holdings Inc. is supporting a mining industry proposal to streamline the approval process for mineral development projects.

DMCI Mining Corp. President Tulsi Das Reyes told reporters over the weekend that a one-stop shop for permits would be a big boost.

“I think [the] DoE (Department of Energy) is setting the bar with one-stop shop, and I think if we can replicate that [with regard to mining and] with the same ideals, I think it’s good,” he added.

Reyes said the process currently has to go through agencies such as the Environmental Management Bureau, Forest Management Bureau, and the central and regional offices of the Department of Environment and National Resources.

“Sometimes there is miscommunication … so if you have a one-stop shop, I think that will help clarify some matters,” he added.

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Expeditious permit issuances, Reyes claimed, would open up competition and help mining firms meet global demand.

“You need competition, you need the resource for global demand and supply, and there’s no joke [that the] Philippines can provide supply for global demand,” he added

During a business conference last month, Philippine Nickel Industry Association President Dante Bravo said they were discussing the idea of a one-stop shop with the government.

He called the current process “tedious,” sometimes taking five to 10 years. This could be shortened to a year or even six months with a one-stop shop, Bravo claimed.

“[I]f we can sort of streamline and identify, really, that this is a priority program, it’s a lot easier to convince investors,” he continued.

Bravo also noted that industry development efforts should include exploration and extraction aside from the government’s focus on attracting investors in value-added processing.