• Govt seeks bigger mining cut


    The government wants to further increase its cut from the gross revenues of mining projects, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said on Friday.

    Environment Secretary Ramon Paje told reporters that the economic committee of the interagency Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) has agreed to further increase government’s share from mining companies to about 8 percent to 10 percent, from the previous 7 percent to 10 percent.

    “The economic cluster will have to finalize the revenue sharing scheme in the next MICC meeting, and the figure now being considered is eight to -10 percent of gross,” Paje said.

    The DENR chief explained that the 8-percent to 10-percent revenue sharing would vary depending on the permutation on how the government will collect the share from minerals.

    “It varies whether we will get it at the front, partial or at the bottom. That will have an impact on the revenue sharing scheme,” he said.

    Earlier, the MICC proposed a revenue sharing scheme of 7 percent to 10 percent of gross revenue, instead of collecting various taxes from mining companies.

    Under the proposal, 5 percent to 7 percent will be the fixed collection based on the gross revenue of the company, while the remaining 3 percent will be based on windfall.

    Paje said that they expect to submit the draft of the bill—which seeks to simplify revenue sharing between the government and mining companies through a “unified” tax collection system—before the 16th Congress opens in July.

    With the simplified revenue collection, the government can collect at least P10 billion annually, Paje said.

    Meanwhile, the DENR chief said that the environment cluster of the MICC expects to finalize the identification of the so-called no-go zones, the areas where mining activities would be prohibited or restricted.

    “Right now, there are 78 ecotourism sites that are identified by the Department of Tourism. But these are in addition to the existing 249 protected areas,” Paje said.

    The MICC is a joint committee of the Economic Development Cluster and the Climate Change Cluster created by Executive Order 79, or the mining policy released last year. The MICC is tasked to draw up the new policy and draft legislation for a new mining revenue scheme.


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