Benguet dads back Philex tax collections

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Thursday, February 27, 2014


LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Provincial officials are backing moves of both Tuba and Itogon to collect billion pesos worth of taxes from Philex Mining Corporation.

The joint report from the committees on finance and appropriation and the ways and means headed by Board Members Concepcion Balao and Robert Namoro supports the resolution of both towns in a bid to collect over P2 billion worth of business taxes from the mining giant.

"This Committee recommends that the joint resolution of the Municipality of Itogon and the Municipality of Tuba be supported," Namoro and Balao said in their report.

The two towns submitted a resolution to the Provincial Board last week, "Adoption and initiating joint and collaborative efforts between the Municipality of Itogon and the Municipality of Tuba in collecting the unsettled business tax of Philex Mining Corporation due to both municipalities."

Both towns lament Philex Mining Corporation allegedly hasn’t paid its business taxes for the year 2002 to 2011 by reason of jurisdictional issues considering a boundary dispute between the two municipalities.

The resolution aims to collect unsettled taxes from the Mining Corporation amounting to over P2.2 billion per joint assessment made by the respective Municipal Treasures of Itogon and Tuba.

Both Chief executives of the towns agreed that the proceeds to be derived from the business taxes of Philex will be divided equally by and among them.

The resolution authorizes their respective Municipal Mayors through their treasurers to issue Philex Mining Corporation a joint tax data and assessment form including demand letters if so required in the course of collection.

Last week Itogon Mayor Victorio Palangdan said efforts to collect billion pesos worth of business taxes from Philex Mining Corporation seem to be falling on deaf ears and added if the mining firm still refuses to pay, the municipality will have no choice but to sign a closure order, to end once and for all, the partnership with the mining firm.

Initially, both towns assessed taxes due to be worth over P1.3 billion, but new computations have verified the new amount, doubling the initial assessment, making the unsettled taxes now pegged at over P2.2 billion.

Philex, however, stands firm in its decision to wait for boundary dispute settlements before payments citing the settlement of the boundary dispute between Itogon and Tuba, a valid and legitimate tax measure imposition and a valid and legitimate tax assessment.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on February 28, 2014.

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