KORONADAL CITY -- The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) in Soccsksargen said that from April to June this year, Sagittarius Mines Inc. (SMI) paid more than P42 million in taxes to South Cotabato.

In 2009, SMI was also awarded as Top Withholding Taxpayer in Koronadal City. The recognition may be due to SMI's "best practices as pursued by its major shareholder Xstrata plc," said John Arnaldo, SMI's corporate communications manager.

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"With the recent call of President Benigno Aquino III for revitalizing our country's effort to spur up revenue generation, companies like Xstrata/SMI has clearly led the way," Arnaldo added.

In his letter to SMI, Saransuman, Koronadal City Revenue District Officer Bagro Saransuman wrote that in April 2010, SMI paid P21,818,159.84 in withholding taxes; P11,07,258.40 in May; and P9,593,207.31 in June, totaling to P42,478,625.56 in withholding taxes remitted during the second quarter of 2010.

"These remittance payments will go a long way for the development our country," Saransuman said.

He expressed gratitude "for the payments/remittance you have made. Any move or action affecting the collection of taxes has a noble effect to the life of every citizen of this country."

The company has so far extended P14 million in educational support to the local communities, especially the B'laan. It also helped build school buildings and turned over books and other school supplies.