The Daily Manila Shimbun


DENR chief wants hike on mining excise tax

October 19, 2017

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said on Thursday he wants the two percent excise tax from mining operations to be increased.

In a press briefing in Malacanang, Cimatu said there were some proponents who want to raise the excise tax to 5 percent.

"However, the mining companies were complaining. But we have to plan properly how much of financial and so forth and so on. But the two percent seemed small," he said.

Cimatu refused to give any possible rate increase in the excise tax, saying he would ask the Mining Industry Coordinating Council to come up with a recommendation.

He said the mining industry is only contributing about less than one percent to the gross domestic product.

In other countries, he said the governments were "getting about 10 percent, eight percent. In fact, one country in South America is getting 15 percent."

"So these are the things that we have to look because as of now, we are the fifth mineralized country in the world and their estimate is that if we can get all these, it can translate into a very big revenue for the government and it can translate I think into trillions of pesos," Cimatu explained.

He expressed openness on the possible passage of a bill regarding mining companies getting their legislative franchise from the government.

Cimatu's predecessor Regina Lopez had ordered closure of several mining projects in the country for allegedly violating environmental laws.

Her strong stance against some mining firms apparently caused her rejection by the Commission on Appointments as head of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Cimatu said he was still waiting for the finalization of the audit on the 13 mining companies which were recommended to be suspended or closed by Lopez.

"We should complete this probably towards the end of the year because there were several problems that we found out during the review," he said. Celerina Monte/DMS