What is ‘genuine development’ in the context of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) for mines proposed to be developed in the Philippines? This article examines the EIA process, related legislation, administrative and judicial decisions. The Philippine EIA system will be compared with the U.S. National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA),1 and the American experience with mining. In light of the prevailing economic development paradigm in the Philippines we submit that the EIA system only superficially considers proposed mining projects and does not promote genuine development. We provide recommendations to improve the EIA system to facilitate genuine development.