Date Published:
Dec 17, 2019
Discussion Papers
DP 2019-22

The small-scale mining law of the Philippines, the People’s Small-scale Mining Act of 1991, is considered a dismal failure in attaining its objectives of spreading employment opportunities and allowing more equitable sharing of the resource wealth of the nation in highly mineralized areas of the country. While acknowledging the potential contributions of small-scale mining to the attainment of national sustainable development goals, implementing the law has been beset with policy overlaps, confusion among stakeholders, compliance and enforceability issues, and lack of capacities of regulators and agencies expected to provide the necessary support infrastructures. Thus, pervasiveness of informality in the sector has continued, adding to government’s inability to specify, prioritize, and focus the support needed by the sector. Amending the law seems to be a default reaction by government and major stakeholder groups. But clearer direction, sounder regional-based strategies, and well-formulated roadmaps must be established in parallel to any changes to the legal frameworks. A complete and more accurate profile of the sector at the per community, municipal, and provincial level will be very valuable as basis for any eventual strategies and roadmaps to be formulated. This study attempts to provide an update on the status of the sector, highlight current issues, and provide options for policy augmentation, with the overall goal of improving performance and enhancing net positive impact of small-scale mining activities.


This publication has been cited 1 time

In the Media
  1. Ocampo, Karl. 2019. Systematic plan to legitimize small-scale miners sought. Philippine Daily Inquirer.

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