March 1, 2024

United States Ambassador MaryKay Carlson has urged mining companies in the Philippines, including those in the Cordillera, to play an active role in ensuring inclusive growth and development from mining operations.

This means the mining sector must ensure that communities near mining sites particularly women and indigenous communities be involved in worthy and sustainable livelihoods.

“Empowering the local workforce is equally important. Together, we 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 mines ends,” she said.

Carlson also informed key leaders and stakeholders in the mining industry that the U.S. government continues to support efforts aimed at strengthening the country’s transparency and accountability in natural resource governance.

“For almost a decade now, our mission through the United States Agency for International Development, has supported the implementation of the Extractive Industries and Transparency Initiative (EITI) in the local and national levels,” Carlson said in her speech at CAP-John Hay Trade and Cultural Center on Nov. 15.

EITI is strengthening government reporting systems, including the proper accounting of wealth revenues from the national to local government units.

Carlson, together with Ambassadors HK Yu of Australia and David Hartman of Canada, graced the 69th Annual Mine Safety and Environment Conference in Baguio last week.

Carlson likewise cited the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Interior have helped through the energy resource governance initiative to promote sound mining sector governance and resilient energy mineral supply chains.

To recall, during the visit of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. to the U.S. in May, the White House released a fact sheet containing USAID commitment to invest an additional $5 million to support increased production of minerals and expand downstream mining industries in the Philippines.

“Under this initiative we are funding today, we will work with industry actors in high-tech fields such as electric vehicle components and information and communications technologies, while improving governance standards in the mining industry,” Carlson said. – Harley F. Palangchao