THE Provincial Government of Eastern Samar is eyeing to finally receive its share of mining revenues next year.
This after the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) reportedly started to gather pertinent data to determine exactly how much is due the Provincial Government as a result of mining operations in the town of Guiuian, according to Provincial Legal Officer Eden Ivy Rose V. Balagasay.
According to the lawyer, they learned that officers of the BIR’s Revenue Accounting Division (RAD) were still collating data to support the release of the province’s excise-tax share. Balagasay added she was informed that the BIR-RAD was “cross-checking their data with the RDO and the authorized agent banks where the miners’ tax payments were made.”
Based on data gathered by the provincial government from the regional office of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), Eastern Samar’s share from the miners’ excise tax payments exceeds P100 million.
“To be safe, we can say that based on the production reports and data submitted to us by MGB, we are expecting our share to be more than P100 million,” Balagasay said.
She added that the provincial government doesn’t expect to get the whole amount right away because of the tedious process of documenting all payments, considering that some of the miners had been operating for decades in the province.
Coordinating with BIR
“WE do not expect to get in 2024 the full amount of over P100 million due the province as its rightful share of excise tax revenue from the miners,” Balagasay said.
“What the DBM [Department of Budget and Management] will likely release to us is just a portion of that amount that will have been documented and cross-checked by then, and then certified by the BIR and the BTr [Bureau of the Treasury],” she added.
The lawyer said the Provincial Government will also be coordinating with the BIR’s RDO on whatever documents they can provide as regards the tax payments made by the miners to the BIR through the authorized banks.
Republic Act (RA) 8424 (National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) of 1997 as amended by the RA 10963) imposes an excise tax of 4 percent on extracted or produced minerals or quarry resources based on the actual market value of the gross output of these products at the time of their removal.
Meanwhile, under Section 290 of the Local Government Code (LGC) of 1991, LGUs are entitled to a 40-percent share of the gross earnings from “mining taxes, royalties from mineral reservations, forestry charges, and fees and revenues collected from energy resources” in their areas. The collected tax is to be divided among LGUs hosting the mining operations, 35 percent of which will go to the barangay, 45 percent to the municipality and 20 percent to the province, Balagasay explained.
BALAGASAY and two other provincial executives—Provincial Treasurer Antonia B. Macawile and Provincial Assessor Manuel Baldono—have been following up on Governor Ben P. Evardone’s request with the local offices of the BIR and other agencies to download or remit the Provincial Government’s share in mining revenues.
To recall, Evardone has issued a stern warning against miners during a special meeting at the Provincial Capitol. The governor said he would ask the revocation of the miners’ permits from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) should he find something amiss in the implementation of environmental and social protection measures in their respective concession areas.
According to Macawile, the complete performance and compliance reports that the miners submitted are now under review by the provincial government. She added that Evardone will review the comprehensive assessment of these firms’ compliance with the key provisions of their MPSAs as well as of the other pertinent laws and provincial ordinances on environmental and social protection.
Macawile said these documents will be the basis whether Evardone would keep the status quo or submit a position paper to the DENR seeking the cancellation of their concession agreements on mining in Homonhon Island off the municipality of Guiuan in Eastern Samar.
A long way
ACCORDING to Macawile, Evardone has told the miners to settle at once their unpaid real property taxes (RPTs) due the province and their host-municipality of Guiuan.
Companies with tax arrears in the province where 1 in 4 are poor are: Cambayas Mining Corp.; Emir Mineral Resources Corp.; Techiron Resources Inc.; Mount Sinai Exploration and Development Corp.; Chromiteking Inc.; and, Nickelace Inc. The latter’s mineral production-sharing agreement (MPSA) is being operated by Global Min-met Resources Inc. and Verum Terra Geosciences Inc.
Cambayas has unpaid RPTs worth P96,578,000 over the 2012 to 2016 period; Techiron, P22,560,687 and Emir, P12,148,255 from 2017 to 2022. Mount Sinai has unpaid RPTs worth P2,580,000 in 2013, computed based on the Ore Transport Permit issued by the MGB.
The Provincial Treasurer’s Office has yet to compute the unpaid RPTs of Verum and Global, which operate the MPSA of Nickelace.
According to Macawile, the settlement of the miners’ RPT arrears will go a long way in funding development projects like roads, school buildings and water supply facilities for “Estehanons,” or the citizens of Eastern Samar, numbering at 467,000 in 2015.