The government earned P52.7 billion in fees, taxes and profit-sharing from extractive industries, including mining and oil and gas production in 2012, the latest data available.
In a report by the Philippine Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (PH-EITI), the Department of Energy topped the list of of agencies collecting for the government. Government share in oil and gas production alone reached P28.994 billion.
PH-EITI said that reconciled revenues streams including payments and collections from 2012, and includes published data – tax payments, royalties, government shares, fees, social payments, and other kinds of government agency revenues reached P52.7 billion.
The first PH-EITI report only covers 30 mining companies, six oil and gas companies, as well as various concerned government agencies.
Finance Asst. Secretary Ma. Teresa Habitan, who is also the PH-EITI Focal Person said one of the group’s objectives is to strengthen the business environment and increase investments for the Philippines.
“We can markedly improve the investment climate when we prove our commitment to transparency and accountability,” she said.
Sebastian Quinones, Shell Exploration BV Managing Director and Philippine Petroleum Association of the Upstream Industries President expressed hope that the transparency and accountability championed by PH-EITI can “evolve into a formidable tool in promoting good governance and supporting nation-building.”
For his part, Wouter Biesterbos, Regional Director of the EITI International Secretariat, said with PH-EITI’s move, citizens can now scrutinize the contracts with companies through a “contract dashboard.”
Meanwhile, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) collected taxes (excise and corporate) of P21.362 billion.
The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) collected P964.58 million in reconciled income, largely from royalty in mineral reservation.
The Bureau of Customs (BOC) was able to collect P740.8 million, largely from value added tax (VAT) on imported materials and equipment.
The local government units (LGUs) were able to collect P372 million, with P370 million in actual receipts taken from the mining industry.
The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) reported P258.6 million worth of royalties paid to directly to communities of indigenous peoples.
While the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) took in P70.4 million exclusively from wharfage fees.
“Transparency fosters an active citizenship alert to potential corruption and inequity. EITI, if properly done, can arm the citizenry with information that promotes fairness in resource use for all Filipinos,” said Dr. Cielo Magno, National Coordinator of Bantay Kita.
Bantay Kita is a coalition of civil society organizations pushing for transparency and accountability in the extractive industry.
PH-EITI’s recommendations for government and business all reflect its push for further transparency and accountability.
These include creating more efficient, centralized, and detailed payment-reporting and coordination mechanisms for government agencies and a proposal to remove the confidentiality clause on the disclosure of tax information under the National Internal Revenue Code.
It also pushes for a better monitoring of payments on an agency and subnational level; an improvement in the data collection of gross output or production of extractive companies; an improvement on the monitoring of extractive businesses’ social payments; and clarification on the data involving royalties paid to Indigenous Peoples, among others.
The report is also the first step in the Philippines’ journey to become a compliant country of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).
The Philippines is a candidate country of EITI, which requires its implementing countries to publish annual reports in an effort to improve the transparency efforts of its governments and extractive industries.
EITI is a global standard of transparency that requires extractive companies such as oil, gas, and mining to publish what they pay to the government, and the government to publish what it receives from the industries.