Shares from mining firms should be given directly to host LGUs-A A +A
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
COMPOSTELA Valley Vice Governor Manuel Zamora appealed on Tuesday to the National Government that the shares of the Provincial Government derived from the revenues of the mining companies must be remitted to them directly.
Speaking at the opening of the 3rd Mindanao Mining Summit at the SMX Convention Center, Zamora said Compostela Valley (Comval) province, as a host to mining companies, receives 40 percent of the two percent excise tax paid by the mining firms to the National Government.
However, the province's shares will be coursed through the National Treasury, and the agency in return will give Comval's share as its national wealth, apart from the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) given to all local governments.
The vice governor said the problem with the current fiscal provision of the Republic Act (RA) 7942, or the Philippine Mining Act, is that it will take too long before the province can claim its share.
"Dugay ang kwarta, walay transparency, og wala me kabalo kung pila among dawatonon (The money takes so long before it's given, no transparency, and we don't know how much our share will be)," he said.
Last year, Zamora said Comval only received a measly P3.9 million share after five years.
"Ganito kababa ang pera na natanggap namin (This is how measly the money we received)," he said.
During his three-term as congressman, he said there had been bills filed before the House of Representatives and senate seeking to amend such provision of the RA 7942, but to no avail.
"There should be automatic retention of the local government share," he said.
Zamora said, citing data from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), Comval province has around 36,328,699 metric tons of estimated gold deposits.
"Mining industry is an important driver of the major growth in our province, but minimal share of revenue is being apportioned to our province because of the existing limitation of the provincial taxing powers provided by the RA 7942 and the local government code," he said.
Based on MGB data, Mindanao has 50 percent of gold and 65 percent nickel reserves in the country.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 02, 2013.