The Philippine mining industry contributed ₱102.3 billion to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2020 despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report released by Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on June 21.

In the report, the DENR-MGB estimated the metallic mineral production value of gold, nickel ore, mixed nickel-cobalt sulfide, scandium oxalate, chromite, and iron at ₱132.69 billion.

The total value of minerals, mineral products, and non-metallic mineral manufacture exported in the past year was at US$5.2 billion.

Meanwhile, the minerals industry contributed about ₱25.52 billion from national and local taxes, fees and royalties.

The DENR-MGB also reported that the mining sector has allocated ₱379 billion for the implementation of the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Program as of December 2020.

It said the mining and quarrying activities generated 184,000 jobs and around ₱25.71 billion was committed for the Social Development Management Program (SDMP).

A total of 36.87 million seedlings have also been planted in 28,717.37 hectares of land for the Mining Forest Program as of December 2020.

DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said the report shows how the mining industry plays a "huge role in the country’s economic growth despite the pandemic."

"Amidst the pandemic that we are experiencing, the mining industry strived and did its part. We are happy to know that this has been the outcome of the mining operations in the country over the past year," Cimatu said of the report that cited the economic, social and environmental contributions of the Philippine mining industry.

"Contrary to what others are saying, this is an indication of how massive the contribution of the mining industry is to our economy," he added.

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, DENR-MGB Director Wilfredo G. Moncano instructed its regional offices to allow mining companies to realign their unutilized SDMP funds to support the affected impact and non-impact communities.

Cimatu has assured the public that the DENR will continue to strictly monitor the operation of mining companies and strengthen the implementation of their safety and health, environmental and social development, and management programs. ###