Miners back tax exemption for gold

SMALL-SCALE mining community in Benguet welcomed the approved law exempting small-scale gold miners from paying income and excise taxes when they sell their gold to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

Lomino Kaniteng, president of the Benguet Federation of Small Scale Miners (BFSSM), said miners are happy with the recent passage of the bill.

"Happy to know that so it will pave the way for the small-scale miners to directly sell their gold produce to the BSP and for the DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) secretary to immediately give clearance to all Minahang Bayan applications of the small-scale mining to pave the way for them to be legalized," said Kaniteng in a statement.

"Since 2012, they (miners) stop selling their gold to central bank because of the excise tax," he added.

He also said that the gold industry remains the steadiest economic driver in the province, employing 23,000 workers despite the risk of the work.

Kaniteng added with the bill approved, the central bank should conduct a meeting with the small-scale miners group to explain their existing policy.

Daniel Pay-an, spokesperson of the Loacan Itogon Pocket Miners Association, said they also welcomed the new law.

Republic Act 11256 was signed into law on March 29 by President Rodrigo Duterte to boost the country's gross international reserves.

Under the law, registered small-scale miners will be exempted from paying income and excise taxes when they sell gold to BSP.

BIR imposed two percent excise tax on the sale of gold to BSP.


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