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PIA Press Release

RDC XI pushes fasttracking of mineral exploration in Davao Region

Davao City (10 July) -- The Regional Development Council (RDC) XI, during its 2nd Quarterly Regular Meeting held July 8, 2008 at the Waterfront Insular Hotel, Davao City, passed a resolution requesting the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to allow its Regional Office here to directly issue mineral exploration permits.

RDC XI Vice-Chair Nicasio Angelo J. Agustin, who presided the meeting, said this recommendation of the Council aims to support government's decentralization efforts and fasttrack mineral exploration in the region.

Agustin, who is also the NEDA XI Regional Director, clarified that this action of RDC XI was based on the proposal of the newly-organized Regional Mineral Development Council (RMDC) XI chaired by DENR XI Regional Executive Director Ricardo Calderon. The RMDC XI proposal was adopted by the Council's Economic Development Committee.

Agustin added that taking out one layer in the approval process of mineral exploration permits will hasten the development of the region's mining industry. Davao Region has one of the country's largest mineral deposits. In particular, the region has vast deposits of gold in Compostela Valley with a value estimated to run to US $ 18 billion.

It has also deposits of other valuable minerals in Davao Oriental that has prompted the Council to declare the Compostela Valley - Davao Oriental area as the region's mineral hub. Plans are underway to build a railway system that will connect the mining areas in the two provinces to the port of Mati City, which has been designated the region's mineral port.

Agustin also bared that facilitating the issuance of mineral exploration permits is one of the ways the Council will be pursuing to successfully implement the region's industry cluster strategy, especially for mining.

The RDC XI Vice-Chair also believes that cutting down the time and cost of doing business with the region's mining industry could spark more investments that will ultimately develop the industry and reduce poverty in the two provinces. (PIA) [top]

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