Small-scale miners ‘produce more but pay less tax’-A A +A
Thursday, September 13, 2012
SMALL-SCALE and illegal miners produce more than the large-scale miners in the Philippines but contribute less in terms of taxes to the government, said Representative Ferdinand Martin Romualdez (1st district, Leyte).
Romualdez expressed his support to the executive order (EO) on new mining policy recently signed by President Benigno Aquino III, saying the output of large-scale mining companies is only 30 percent of the actual production while small-scale and illegal miners constitute the bulk of mineral production in the whole country.
“Small-scale and illegal miners produced 70 percent of the total output of the mining industry here and yet they pay fewer taxes, they don’t obey the law and they do not coordinate with the Central Bank in selling their products. Large-scale mining companies are registered, has permits and paying the right taxes and yet they are the one closely monitored by the government,” he said.
He urged the government to focus its attention to the illegal activities of small-scale mining companies as “they brought more destruction to the environment unlike large-scale mining companies who were required to submit rehabilitation plans before they were given the necessary permit.”
“Illegal mining is a very lucrative business now in the Philippines kaya’t maraming pumapasok dyan pero hindi nakikita at hindi namomonitor. Sa totoo lang, ang responsible miners ay yung mga malalaki pero maliit lang ang kanilang production and this was confirmed by the DENR (Environment department),” Romualdez said.
President Aquino issued EO 79, which envisioned to harmonize mining policies and regulations in the country and make local miners “more transparent and accountable.
One of the most important provisions of the EO is the creation of the mining industry coordinating council, which was tasked to review and harmonize existing national and local laws on mining.
The EO also expanded areas where mining would not be allowed. The government will no longer entertain mining applications covering tourism development areas as identified in the national tourism development plan and prime agricultural lands. (Leyte Samar Daily Express)