The Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) intends to finish before the opening of the 16th Congress a draft bill seeking to increase the government share from mining revenues to as much as 10 percent.
Environment Secretary Ramon Paje, who co-chairs the MICC, told reporters yesterday that the draft bill prepared by MICC stipulates a government share of seven to 10 percent to be obtained from gross earnings and windfall earnings of mining firms.
“One of the proposals by (Finance) Secretary Cesar Purisima is to simplify the sharing,” said Paje. “If we get the 10 percent we would be happy. But that is already at the high end.”
The MICC will convene again on May 7 to review the draft revenue sharing bill.
“We already have a draft formula and one of the agenda in the meeting is to review this,” said Paje, adding “We intend to finish it before the opening (of the next Congress).”
Paje said the MICC intends to submit the draft bill to Malacanang to be certified as urgent before the opening of the 16th Congress.
The enlarged government share from mining revenues would replace the two percent excise tax as well as other taxes imposed on mining firms such as corporate income tax, customs duties and fees on imported capital equipment among others.
Paje said that of the proposed range of government share from mining revenues, the bulk should ideally come from gross revenues so that the government would have a guaranteed income should the company not have windfall earnings.
“If we use the 10 percent sharing scheme, for instance, we can get seven percent from the gross and we have already achieved our objective. The three percent can come from windfall income. Whatever percentage we use we are more inclined on the gross,” he said.
He said that using this revenue sharing scheme, the government could reap P10 billion annually from the current average of P800 million annually.
If Sagittarius Mine Inc.’s $5.9 billion copper-gold project in South Cotabato commences operations, annual revenues from the mining industry could reach P18 billion.
(Source: Phil Star)