The International Board of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) announced that the Philippines is the first country to have successfully obtained a ‘satisfactory progress’ assessment under the 2016 EITI Standard.
EITI is a Norway-based international initiative that promotes open and accountable management of extractive industries, including the mining and oil and gas sectors. The 2016 EITI Standard provides a set of requirements for data disclosure or transparency in the industry, from the awarding of licenses and contracts to monitoring production, revenue collection and allocation, as well as socio-economic contribution of the industry. EITI is being implemented worldwide by 52 countries to date, including the Philippines, in a bid to be found compliant with the EITI Standard (i.e., to be given a ‘satisfactory progress’ rating) after a rigorous validation process.
As an implementing country, the Philippines established in 2013 the Philippine Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, or PH-EITI, through Executive Order No. 147 issued by then President Benigno Simeon Aquino III. PH-EITI is steered by a multi-stakeholder group chaired by the Department of Finance (DOF) and composed of representatives from government, industry, and civil society.
The Philippines underwent the EITI validation process beginning in January this year. The process culminated in the EITI Board’s decision, placing the country in the historic position of being the first in EITI compliance and serving as a model for other implementing countries.
According to the statement released by the EITI Board, “the Philippines presents a dynamic case of EITI implementation, with its fast-paced and innovative multi-stakeholder group engaging in strategic discussions linking the EITI to national priorities for the extractive sector.” It also said that “EITI has also built trust in a country where the mining sector has often been contentious.”
At the helm of PH-EITI, DOF Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez welcomes the decision, saying: “The forum EITI provides has been indispensable to achieving mutually beneficial collaboration between all stakeholders in the country. With the proper governance framework in place, the extractive industries may do what they do without causing harm. To achieve that, they must be transparent and the communities ever watchful. I trust that the international recognition we have received will further spur our nation to build institutions of accountability and enterprises that are better able to serve the common good.”
At present, there are legislative bills filed in the House and in the Senate to institutionalize the PH-EITI.