The Economic Development Committee (EDC) of the Regional Development Council (RDC) XI, during its second quarter virtual meeting on May 30, 2022, discussed the Gold Buying Roadmap for Davao Region, 2022 to 2026 and the policy recommendation on prescribing local government units (LGUs) to allocate at least 10% of their total procurement value for locally produced goods and services.

Bank Officer II Hermogenes A. Buenaflor, Jr. of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Mindanao Regional Office presented the draft Gold Buying Roadmap for Davao Region, 2022 to 2026.

The Roadmap was crafted by the Sub-Committee on Gold Trading in Davao Region. The Sub-Committee, chaired by the BSP Mindanao Regional Office, was created in the 4th Quarter of CY 2021 to assist in the formulation and implementation of a Gold Buying Roadmap for Davao Region from 2022 to 2026 in order to encourage the selling of gold to the BSP.

Small Scale Mining in Davao Region

The formulation of the Roadmap is based on Republic Act (RA) No. 7653 or the New Central Bank Act, which stipulates the Philippine’s international reserves shall include gold, RA No. 7076 or the Small-Scale Mining Act of 1991, which specifically states that all gold produced by small-scale miners in any mineral area shall be sold to the BSP, and RA No. 11256 or the Gold Law, which exempts sellers of gold to the BSP from excise and creditable withholding taxes.

The Gold Buying Roadmap for Davao Region, 2022 to 2026 shall provide the strategies to strengthen gold trading in the Region and ensure that small-scale miners sell their gold to the BSP.

After review and discussions, the EDC XI resolved to endorse the draft Roadmap to the Regional Development Council XI for approval, subject to integration of the Committee’s recommendations. Among the said recommendations are the addition of activities related to the suppression of the sale of gold to the black market and the identification of all activities throughout the plan duration.

In addition, the EDC XI also discussed the recommendation of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) XI to prescribe for LGUs to allocate at least 10% of their total procurement value for locally produced goods and services.

Buy Local – Go Lokal

The policy seeks to support the DTI’s Buy Local – Go Lokal campaign, which recognizes the importance of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to the Philippine economy. Based on Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data, MSMEs comprise 99.51% of the total establishments and 63.27% of total employment in the country. The campaign and the policy shall help MSMEs by encouraging the patronage of locally produced products, especially as businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given the foregoing, the EDC XI resolved to request the RDC XI to enjoin the Davao Region LGUs to support DTI’s Buy Local – Go Lokal campaign and allocate to MSMEs at least 10% of their total procurement value of goods and services.

-Kristoffer Kim K. Boga, SEDS, NEDA XI