The Department of Finance (DoF) said the mining industry’s fiscal regime will be part of the government’s comprehensive tax reform package (CTRP) after President Rodrigo Duterte reminded all extractive corporations and contractors to pay the right amount of taxes.
Finance Undersecretary Bayani Agabin, a member of the multi-stakeholder Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC), said the body tasked to review the sector fully supports the effort of the President to review the mining laws.
“And in that regard, the MICC has several technical working groups that will undertake the review of the fiscal regime. In fact, we are looking at this to be part of one of the tax reform packages,” he told reporters in an interview over the weekend.
The fiscal regime on the mining industry may be included in the succeeding packages of the CTRP but not under the recently House of Representatives-approved package one or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act, Agabin noted.
“Definitely not in package one. There are schools of thought when it comes to sharing. Of course, the MICC agreed that priority … is the protection of the environment, but we have to balance that with what the investors that want to put their money because it will take some capital,” he said.
Agabin said the MICC review will include a holistic study on the mining industry’s fiscal regime in consultation with all stakeholders.
For his part, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd said the study will inform whatever the recommendation of the President will be on taxation and the mining operations.
“You have to look at his message, and that is the message to us. And as members of his government, we have to act on what he wants,” he said.
At his second State of the Nation Address last week, President Duterte warned all mining corporations and contractors to refrain from unbridled and irresponsible destruction of watersheds, forests and aquatic resources, and declare correct income and pay their taxes correctly or else he will tax them to death.