Press Release
March 4, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara warned during Wednesday's Commission and Appointments hearing to confirm Department of Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima that the country's precious natural resources are being sold below market prices.

"We are selling out the rights to our country's natural resources so cheaply, we are practically giving away our farmlands, forests, fisheries to anyone willing to fork over the minimum amount needed--which is not even at market prices," he said.

Angara noted, "For example, it is ridiculously easy in the Philippines to acquire a mining claim while other countries guard their territories very closely. They can derive significant income from this option."

Angara, vice-chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, questioned the stagnant rate of growth in some areas of the nation's economy.

"Our GDP has shown huge growth in the last decade--I believe around a 30 percent increase since 1997, but no considerable improvement on other areas of the economy," Angara said.

He continued, "What about the continuing efforts on regular tax collections? These provide dependable income from neutral sources such as the rich and abundant natural resources that we have."

According to Angara, the abundant resources of the country are not being put to good use.

He called on the interim Finance chief to create a structural pricing scheme to regulate the use of our country's natural resources to provide sizeable source of revenue in the future.

Before the hearing was suspended to allow further discussion of other issues, Angara advised the secretary to act on the matter as soon as possible.

"What you should do as our nation's new fiscal chief: mark them for market--all of our nation's resources from land to airwaves. We should regulate their use so that we have a sustainable source of revenue, at the same time preventing the overstretching of our resources," he advised.

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