Philippines page image


Improving the ASGM sector, from miners to refiners

philippines flag round image

Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) is a thriving industry in the Philippines, with an estimated 300,000–500,000 miners operating in more than 30 provinces across the country. The Philippines is among the top 20 producers of gold worldwide, and 70 percent of its gold is produced by artisanal and small-scale miners.

planetGOLD project sites in Philippines


Local communities in many mining areas have flourished by setting up complementary businesses that support mining operations and provide a further source of income. In addition to the miners directly involved in the supply chain, the ASGM sector supports the livelihood of another 2 million people.

However, many artisanal and small-scale miners use mercury in the gold extraction process—generating the country’s largest source of mercury emissions while directly exposing themselves, their families, and communities to the highly toxic substance. ASGM operations that use mercury also contaminate nearby soil, crops, oceans, fish, and other aquatic life upon which local populations rely.


Key Figures from The Philippines

  • 300,000-500,000 miners work in ASGM

  • 2 million people's livelihoods are supported by ASGM

  • 70% of the country's gold is produced by ASGM

  • 30 out of 81 provinces have ASGM operations


The Philippines’ Approach

The planetGOLD Philippines project is working toward eliminating mercury in the ASGM sector by using a bottom-up approach, involving members of the ASGM sector directly in the creation and implementation of policies and practices to sustainably improve mining operations and livelihoods. In partnership with the national government, the project team is working to create an enabling environment for a formalized ASGM sector that enhances community development, improves productivity, and eliminates the use of mercury.


Key Strategies

Icon graphic - formalization

Support formalization
of the ASGM sector 

Mercury icon

Reduce mercury releases
in mining communities

Icon graphic - awareness raising

Educate and
raise awareness 

Financing icon graphic

Help miners access financing
and international gold markets

Contact planetGOLD Philippines

The planetGOLD Philippines project is implemented by the UN Environment Programme, UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and executed by the Artisanal Gold Council (AGC) in partnership with the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB).

Abigail D. Ocate
National Project Manager
Artisanal Gold Council
planetGOLD Programme
Contact numbers: (63-2) 936 – 0500/+63 9054537150

Shyne S. Catedral
Communications Assistant (Philippines)
Artisanal Gold Council
planetGOLD Programme
Contact numbers: (63-2) 936 – 0500/+63 9127839985

3rd Floor, New Multi-Purpose Bldg., MGB Compound, North Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City, 1128 Metro Manila

Other planetGOLD countries