Population (thousand) (2015): 100,699.4
Last updated: 1st August, 2016
The Philippines has high biodiversity, being one of the seventeen mega-diverse countries in the world. It has prolific and highly diverse marine and coastal resources which makes it the third highest in marine biodiversity in the world. The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources estimates the fishing industry’s contribution to the country’s GDP at 2.2% (PhP 170.3 billion) and 4.4% (PhP63.2 billion) at current and constant prices, respectively. Philippine waters are estimated to harbour an estimated 10,000 species, or approximately one fifth of all known species. The country’s marine waters are also widely regarded by marine biologists as the epicentre of marine biodiversity.
Despite experiencing positive economic growth over the last decade, over 25% of the population in the Philippines still lives below the poverty line. Poverty remains predominantly rural and development achievements are vulnerable to environmental challenges and frequent natural disasters. It is particularly in the natural resource-rich areas where pockets of poverty can be seen. In fact, 75% of the poor in the country live in these areas and are dependent on the environment and natural resources for their subsistence, e.g. at the national level, agriculture and fisheries sectors contribute 20% to GDP and directly employ about 40% of the labour force. According to Philippine Statistics Authority, the projected population for the country in 2015 stands at about 103 million and a quarter of the population was estimated to be poor in 2013 (NSCB, 2013), while the proportion of poor women stands at 25.6%
Irrespective of the quality of environmental assets to sustain livelihoods, or of the particular threat posed by environmental hazards – the poor usually lose out on a proportionate share of benefits from natural resource wealth. For instance, the general experience in extractive industries in the Philippines has proven to be quite detrimental to local areas and communities, leaving behind only a degraded environment and limited development impacts. Recently, there has been a substantial increase in applications for mining licenses in many parts of the country, backed by national legislation. Mining can cause pollution, compete with biodiversity areas and undermine the rights of local populations, including indigenous peoples.
To address these issues, PEI has been providing technical assistance to the government of Philippines since 2011. With support from PEI, the Philippines is working on being included in the list of countries that comply to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) with the aim of promoting transparency in the mining sector. Since May 2013, the Philippines has been granted EITI candidate country status.
The Department of Interior and Local Government is the lead implementing agency of Philippines PEI with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources as co-implementing agency. Furthermore, the Department of Finance, the Department of Budget and Management, and the National Anti-Poverty Commission will serve as responsible partners, working with the implementing agencies on specific outputs of PEI.
- Production of Public Environmental Expenditure Reviews at national and local levels; review of the collection and distribution of revenues from natural resources followed by improved capacity among government, business and civil society stakeholders at national and local levels to utilize revenues and benefits from environment and natural resources for poverty reduction.
- The capacity of national and local governments to use revenues from natural resources extraction to reduce poverty is increasing. This comes as a result of the PEI-supported review, documentation, and sharing of best practices from Local Government Units (LGUs) in the use of revenues from natural resources both from mining and renewable energy generation towards reducing poverty. It is supporting the aggregation of relevant information and studies into formal knowledge management platforms.
- PEI supported LGU’s hosting extractive industries with the process of establishing networks across 123 provinces, 26 municipalities, and five cities to lobby for and monitor a benefit-sharing scheme. This would enable better planning and budgeting for P-E development interventions at the local level.
- The development of a computerized system for the Mines and Geoscience Bureau has been underway since 2013 to document and monitor properly fees, taxes, and royalties paid by mining companies and other stakeholders. This boost in transparency will contribute to policy reforms and improve related governance processes in the Philippines.
- PEI proposed amendments to the relevant provisions of R.A. 7160 or Local Government Code of 1991 to ensure the timely release of LGU shares from National Wealth in line with Section 12 of Executive Order №79, to give LGUs greater flexibility on how to utilize their shares from natural wealth, to encourage LGUs to disseminate their financial information through electronic means whenever and wherever possible, and to make the allocation of shares from natural wealth among two or more LGUs hosting the same mining project more equitable. This can allow for effective utilization of proceeds from national wealth, particularly for poverty reduction and environmental protection.
- PEI supported the development of Mineral Statistics Information Management System (MSIMS) and Mining Tax information Management System (MTIMS), to strengthen production, monitoring, documentation and reporting of statistical data pertaining to mineral productions and exports as well as better computation of excise taxes and other fees. This can support effective utilization of funds, particularly for poverty reduction and environmental protection.
Planning and budgeting systems of LGUs are improved through mainstreaming pro-poor sustainable ENR management
- PEI influenced the drafting of an Administrative Order entitled “Mainstreaming Poverty-Environment Linkages in All Government Offices, Agencies, Government-Owned and/or Controlled Corporations, including Government Financial Institutions, State Universities and Colleges, and Local Government Units”. As a result of the order, P-E linkages were mainstreamed into LGU plans in 4 pilot LGUs, integration of integrate the Ancestral Domain Sustainable Development and Protection Plan (ADSDPP) into LGU plans; allocation of budget for ADSDPP, and participation of IP communities in LDC, also coverage of Social Development and Management Programs (SDMP’s) implementation and budget allocation funding PPAs identified in the CDP of LGUs as well as LGU financial statements showing the sources and specific amounts that LGUs receive as their shares from national wealth and utilization. This allows for priority to be accorded to poverty reduction and environmental protection
- PEI organized a nationwide small‐scale mining forum in collaboration with DENR and the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) bringing together all concerned stakeholders both from the national and local governments to discuss issues about artisanal and small‐scale mining. The forum entitled “National Forum on Artisanal and Small‐scale Mining (ASM) in the Philippines: Issues, Opportunities and Ways Forward” highlighted solutions and recommendations recognizing the roles of relevant stakeholders.
- PEI Philippines supported the drafting of a framework on mainstreaming poverty-environment linkages into the Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP), Comprehensive Land-Use Plan (CLUP) and Annual Investment Program (AIP) for local government units. At the local level, integrating P-E nexus into LGU planning and management is through the formulation/updating of LGU’s CLUP and CDP. Further, the LGU’s AIP contains pro-poor and environmental outcome, i.e. sustainably managed environment, vibrant agribusiness, infrastructure support, competitive trade, industry and tourism.
- Through PEI, the Network of LGUs hosting mining and energy projects were established to ensure sustainable development of provinces, cities and municipalities in the Philippines. The DILG Regional Offices created PEI Focals, through Special Orders (SO), at the municipal, city, provincial and regional levels. Due to the PPEI, cross-sector coordination mechanisms at the national and local levels were established.
Natural resource revenue utilized for improved social services delivery, poverty reduction and environmental sustainability by LGUs
- The project carried out a study on the public disclosure on the amount of shares received by pilot LGUs from national wealth, including fees, charges and social benefits and their utilization of the proceeds which has brought about reforms in the policy environment for the sharing of revenues from natural resources between national and local government as well as transparency in the utilization of the proceeds for poverty reduction and environmental protection. For instance, LGU financial statements now show the sources of funds and specific amount that LGUs receive as their share from national wealth and utilization of the same (development of Electronic Statement of Receipts and Expenditures (eSRE)).
- An evaluation study on the fiscal regime on national wealth sharing for fisheries, forestry, biodiversity, energy and mining was undertaken to provide policy recommendations and tools to effectively and efficiently improve wealth/benefit sharing for all natural resources.
- A study on the impact of Social Development and Management Programs (SDMP) of large scale mining in selected communities in the Philippines was undertaken to assess the environmental and socio-economic impacts of hosting large-scale mining/extractive industries among LGUs. The results of the study report will be used as a basis for policy recommendations for the alignment, support and harmonization of SDMP to local development plans, for the formulation of indicators to monitor the impacts of SDMP on host communities, and potentially to develop criteria for a recognition/award system for mining companies with best SDMPs.
Transparent collection of natural resource revenues applied through the introduction of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)
- PEI supported benefit sharing from extractive industries such as mining and energy through lobbying for policy reforms (SB 2363 and HB 5367) and enhanced information systems and governance processes at the national and local levels which resulted in the Philippine Government endorsement of the Philippine – Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (PH-EITI) through the issuance of Executive Order №79 , Executive Order №147, “Creating the Philippine Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative” and the statement of President Benigno S. Aquino III on EITI. These policy reforms outline the objectives to promote the sustainable management and use of the natural resources and improve the fiscal regime on benefit sharing from mining revenues.
- PEI’s study carried out in 2013, “analysing policy and governance reforms that will ensure timely release of funds from extractives to LGUs”, has led to the development and installation of environment natural resources data management tool (ENRDMT) to support transparency and accountability through data and information management at the local level which PEI has also been supporting. The ENRDMT serves as a platform to enable reporting and monitoring of direct payments made to LGUs by extractive industries and information on mandatory and other expenditures coming from the LGU receipts/collections from extractive industries. Once fully rolled out, it will lead to improved compliance and accurate reporting by the LGUs and PH-EITI annually.