BGLF estimates PHP821-M LGU losses from closure, suspension of mining projects

MANILA -- The order of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to either shut down or suspend the operations of 28 mine sites across the country will cost 17 affected cities and municipalities in 10 provinces over PHP821 million annually in foregone revenues, according to updated estimates submitted to the Department of Finance (DOF).

DOF Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, who earlier directed local treasurers to submit their respective reports on the complete revenue impact of the DENR closure and suspension orders on host local government units (LGUs), told the media that three of the municipalities will lose revenues representing over 50 percent of their current operating income if the affected mine sites are shut down or forced to suspend operations.

"One is the municipality of Carrascal (in Surigao del Sur), then you have Tagana-an (in Surigao del Norte), and Tubajon (in Dinagat Islands)," said Dominguez in a recent media forum.

The updated estimates submitted by the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) to Dominguez show Carrascal will lose PHP198.3 million of its mining revenues, which represents 62.3 percent of its total operating income, while Tagana-an will lose PHP70.3 million or 54 percent of its total operating income. Tubajon will shed PHP38 million, or 55.4 percent of its total operating income if the DENR order is implemented.

The Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) co-chaired by the DOF and DENR met last Feb. 9 to discuss the closure and suspension orders, and issued a resolution emphasizing that due process will be observed in assessing the status of mining operations in the country..

A multi-stakeholder team was also formed by the MICC to "review existing mining operations in consultation with the LGUs."

The review shall be based on "the guidelines and parameters set forth in the specific mining contract and in other pertinent laws, taking into account the valid exercise of the State's police power to serve the common good of the poor," the MICC resolution likewise read.

"The total estimated potential revenue loss from the direct payments of mining firms and the shares from mining taxes of affected LGUs amounted to PHP821.13 million," said BLGF acting executive director Nino Alvina.

Of this amount, Alvina said, local collections of the affected LGUs from mining firms amounted to PHP340 million, comprising real property taxes (RPTs) of PHP53.54 million, PHP263.13 million from business tax, fees, charges and other local charges, and PHP23.29 million from provincial revenues.

The share of the affected LGUs from mining taxes collected by the national government account for PHP481.17 million, he said.

In its earlier report to Dominguez, the BLGF said the provinces affected either by the closure or suspension orders are Benguet, Nueva Vizcaya, Palawan, Cebu, Bulacan, Zambales, Eastern Samar, Dinagat Islands, Surigao Del Norte, and Surigao Del Sur. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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