VARIOUS local government units (LGUs) in the Cordilleras, including those from the neighboring Cagayan Region, are pushing for easier access and clearer annual reports for their share of national wealth taxes.
In the recent Philippine Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (PH-Eiti) road show in Baguio City, LGU representatives and other shareholders are pushing they be given a clearer data on the amount they should collect out of the annual national wealth tax.
The issue has been brought after the question of how much tax are collected from the mining companies based in the two regions and how the LGUs can access to the data from the different agencies concerned.
Chamber of Mines of the Philippines vice president for Legal and Policy lawyer Ronald Recidoro said process of knowing the exact amount of the minerals (copper, nickel, gold etc.) in its raw form cannot be determined immediately.
In his clarification, the quantity may be accessed through different concerned agencies like Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), but the exact amount after it has been processed still depends on the market value, thus the report may always vary.
Although LGUs are given the data on how much minerals were collected, they are not given definite computation of its value until sold or delivered to the Central Bank.
MGB-Cordillera Administrative Region Director Fay Apil added that while their department is the one issuing permits for the transport of the extracted minerals, particularly gold, their agency can only compare, examine and access information on the price value after it has been sold.
Meanwhile, LGUs are also pushing for the creation of a Local Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG), which will embody as a counterpart of Eiti.
The MSG is seen to provide accessibility to data in a regional report instead of the LGUs still requesting to the National Government.
A standardized data presentation is also taken into point to create uniformity for all the concerned agencies such as MGB, BIR, and others when presenting data.
Meanwhile, Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya Mayor Alberto Bumulo Jr. raised despite the existence and efforts of the PH-EITI data on excise tax, shares are still delayed.
"How can we speed up the process of knowing the LGU's share on the excise tax, in my case my term as a Mayor will already be done by the next three years but I will still have to follow-up on the municipality's share because data and process is always delayed," Bumulo said.
At present, Bumulo said the National Government has yet to remit their share of national wealth tax since the third quarter of 2014.