LOCAL government units are urging various sectors in the country to study and approve the possibility of directly remitting their shares of national wealth tax directly to them.
During the Philippine Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (PH-EITI) roadshow here in Baguio City, stakeholders called for the formulation of a regulation allowing LGUs to have direct collection of excise tax from mining industries operating in their jurisdiction.
The direct remittance will anchor its transmission through the creation of a Local Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) which will embody as a sub-local level for the national counterpart EITI.
"We support the local MSG. We endorse this because we already saw it can happen in the national level, so probably the sub-level application can also be applied," Chamber of Mines of the Philippines vice- president for Legal and Policy Atty. Ronald Recidoro said during the forum.
Recidoro noted the proposal can improve the collections of the LGU's share of the national wealth tax at the same time fast track the process for the host provinces, cities and municipalities to get hold and utilize their excise taxes.
"The process is almost the same. Rather than collecting the taxes from the various companies and conveying it to the national government before it returns to the LGU, why not just make separate checks," Recidoro explained.
"These companies know to themselves how much they need to pay excise tax. Somehow, and surely, they can compute how much the share of the government is and how much share should be delivered to the host LGUs," he added.
Meanwhile, Mines and Geosciences Bureau-Cordillera director Fay Apil agreed to the plan adding there would be no problem if the taxes for national and LGU shares will be separated and directly remitted.
Presently, the collection of national wealth tax is processed by companies by paying taxes to the Bureau of Internal Revenue before the allocation of budget through the General Annual Appropriations.
LGUs are supposed to be given a total of 40 percent share from the taxes paid, which is then subdivided into 45 percent share for the host city or municipality, 35 percent share for the barangays, and 20 percent share for the rest of the province.
Apart from the direct remittance, true transparency for the collections is still being pushed in promotion of good governance.
PH-EITI is conducting its third nationwide roadshow with Baguio, for Cordillera and Cagayan regions, as the third stop this 2016.
The nationwide conference aims to continue providing platform for dialogue between government, industry, and civil society representatives that have a stake in extract activities involving mining, oil and gas.
The event which started in August in Davao and Cebu, will also schedule stops in Surigao, Puerto Princesa, and Manila.