Archive for July, 2011

Mining projects in Caraga generate more than 1B taxes

 

Mining projects in Caraga generate more than 1B taxes

·     Philsaga Mining Corporation is lone large-scale gold producer

It is quite known today that Caraga Region is noted as the mining capital of the Philippines due to the presence of several large-scale mining companies doing exploration or operating in the area.

Mining investments has been steadily increasing due to the world demand for nickel, chromite and gold which are abundant in Caraga. These minerals are shipped to China, Japan, Australia and Greece.

For the year 2010, there were 339 shipments made for nickel and chromite ores from large-scale mining companies with SIRC- Platinum Group Metals Corporation operating in Cagdianao, Claver, Surigao del Norte and CTP Construction and Mining Corporation (CTPCMC) with project in Carrascal, Surigao del Sur as the highest ore transporters for the year.

Small-scale mining operators in Dinagat Islands also contributed to the total chromite production.

In terms of gold, the lone large-scale gold producer, Philsaga Mining Corporation in Agusan del Sur produced 3,225.249 kg. gold bullions and 351.239 kg. silver.

As provided for under the Mining Act of 1995,the government shall have a share in Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) and this will be in the form of Excise Tax on mineral products as provided for in R. A. No. 7729, the National Internal Revenue Code. Under the Code, the companies must pay Two percent (2%)Excise Tax. For 2010, the estimated total Excise Tax paid by mining companies in Caraga is P376,155,493.04.

Aside from the Excise Tax, companies operating within the Surigao Mineral Reservation (SMR) pay an additional Five percent (5%) Royalty Tax based on the gross market value of the minerals/mineral products extracted or produced from the Mineral Reservations exclusive of all other taxes.

In Caraga Region, the SMR covers some municipalities in Dinagat Islands, and a portion of the Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur. So the Royalty Tax collected for the year 2010 reachedP510,786,934.29.

Pursuant to Sections 289-290, Chapter 2 of the Local Government Code of the Philippines that in addition to the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA), the Local government units (LGUs) shall have an equitable share in the utilization and development of the national wealth within their respective areas.

In cognizant with the above provisions of the Code, out of the collection of the national government from the preceding fiscal year from mining taxes, royalties, etc., the LGUs shall have 40% share in the national wealth, which shall further be divided in the following manner: 20 % Province, 45% component city/Municipality and 35% Barangays. Provided, however, that where the natural resources are located in two (2) or more provinces, or in two (2) or more component cities or municipalities or in two (2) or more barangays, their respective shares shall be computed on the basis of: 1) Population – Seventy percent (70%); and (2) Land area – Thirty percent (30%). In the case of where the natural resources are located in a highly urbanized or independent component city: 1) city – Sixty-five percent (65%); and 2) barangay – Thirty-five percent (35%) Provided, however, That where the natural resources are located in such two (2) or more cities, the allocation of shares shall be based on the formula on population and land area as specified in the Local Government Code.

In cognizance with the above provision, 60% of the Royalty Tax, which is being retained by the national government, amounted to P306,472,160.57 and the 40%, which will be downloaded to the various LGUs in the region the following year, is P204,314,773.71.

Other than the Excise Tax and Royalty Taxes, the government also receives payment for Customs duties/fees, Value Added Tax, Capital Gains Tax, Income Tax and Documentary Stamp Tax wharfages/PPA charges from the mining projects that go to the government. These taxes are collected by other agencies of the government like the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Bureau of Customs and the Philippine Ports Authority.

There are also taxes and fees that are paid directly to the concerned LGUs like the Occupation Fees. The Mining Act mandates the collection of an annual occupation fee in accordance with the following schedule: a) For exploration permit – Five pesos (P5.00) per hectare or fraction thereof per annum, b)For mineral agreements and financial or technical assistance agreements – Fifty pesos (P50.00) per hectare or fraction thereof per annum; and c)For mineral reservation – One hundred pesos (P100.00) per hectare or fraction thereof per annum.

These Occupation fees are paid directly to the treasurer of the municipality or city where the onshore mining areas are located, or to the Director in case of offshore mining areas.

Thirty per centum (30%) of all occupational fees collected from the holders of mining rights in onshore mining areas shall accrue to the province and seventy per centum (70%) to the municipality in which the onshore mining areas are located. In a chartered city, the full amount shall accrue to the city concerned.

The Occupation fee is just one of the many taxes that are being paid by mining companies directly to the LGUs. Taxes like the Real property tax; local business tax, residence tax, community tax, registration fee and the withholding tax are likewise directly paid to the concerned LGU.

Another collection from various taxes and fees in 2010, which reached an estimated amount of P298,235,773.53 were paid. This includes the royalty payments made to the Indigenous Peoples in Caraga.

So the estimated total taxes and fees collected from mining projects in Caraga is summed at P1,185,178,200.86.Surigao del Norte registered the highest collections from the mining projects in the amount of P590,249,605.65, followed by Surigao del Sur with P266,570,410.98,Agusan del Sur with P217,895,773.16, Dinagat Islands with P97,814,909.36 and Agusan del Norte with P12,647,501.71.

In a nutshell, mining in Caraga does not only supplement the coffers of the local government units in the region but also that of the national government. The region is one of the top raters in generating taxes and fees from mining today that significantly contributed to the general welfare of the entire country and the province, municipality, barangays that host the project.

However, LGUs in Caraga Region have been clamoring that their share from the national wealth should be collected by them directly since it takes a considerable time before they receive it from the national government thus, delaying the implementation of the necessary development projects for their constituents.

It is just a matter of time and commitment of the leaders to make their best effort so that these taxes and fees from mining will really translate to the full development of the communities, affected by the mining projects, and the country as a whole.

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17-m bridge widening project in Nabunturan nears completion

17-m bridge widening project in Nabunturan nears completion

 The construction work of the widening of the Nabunturan Bridge along Daang Maharlika Road, Poblacion, Nabunturan, Compostela Valley,  is already near to its completion.

Second District Representative Rommel Amatong, who initiated the project, said that the government through the Department of Public Works and Highways, has to spend P17.2 million to finish the project next month, August 2011.

Amatong said the construction started in March this year since the duration of construction is eight months or 240 working days.

The congressman himself accompanied by Barangay Captain Antonio F. Cantoneros recently visited the construction site to personally supervise the project.

It was the Algons Construction, which already got a number of government infrastructure projects in the past,  that bidded the project.

Meanwhile, Amatong said that the bridge widening is only one of his priority infrastructure projects in his district, adding there are also ongoing road rehabilitation and asphalting and concreting projects in the area.

Part of a scam

Part of a scam

* Toto describes Zaldy’s statement a strategy to evade from murder charges

 MAGUINDANAO Governor Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu, has described the statement of  Zaldy Ampatuan, former governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), to turn state witness in the Maguindanao massacre as part of a strategy to evade from murder charges filed against him.

Mangudadatu, whose wife was among the 57 people, including 32 journalists, killed in the Nov. 23, 2009 massacre in Ampatuan town in Maguindanao province, said Ampatuan is only creating a scenario to also let other suspects to turn around.

“Strategy lang nila yan, susunod nyang ilalabas na din nila yung iba pang miyembro ng kanilang pamilya hanggang maiwan na lang si Unsay (Andal Jr.),” he said.

He said they have already a lot of witnesses who can pinned down all the suspects charged for the gruesome mass murder, considered the worst case of political violence in the country’s history, as well as journalism’s greatest loss of life anywhere in a single day.

 “Marami na kaming testigo na makapagsasabi ng katotohanan, di na namin sya kailangan,” Mangudadatu said.

He said the families of other victims won’t also agree to turn Zaldy a state witness because they have substantial evidence that he allegedly conspired with the mastermind, Unsay, and his father, Andal Sr. to carry out the massacre.

Zaldy  was interviewed by GMA 7, ABS-CBN and Al Jazeera in his prison cell in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City last Monday on his intention to turn state witness against his own father and brother.

But aside from Mangudadatu and relatives of other victims, even Justice Secretary Leila de Lima is not also agreeable to Zaldy’s intention.

“As things now stand, we don’t need him [Zaldy]. We don’t need him for a successful prosecution,” De Lima said.

At the same time, De Lima said it would be unlikely that Zaldy will be made state witness because he is among the prime suspects.

“The public prosecutors cannot just enter into any deal especially with respect to [Zaldy’s] possible discharge as a state witness,” she said.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s justice secretary, now one of her legal advisers, Raul Gonzalez, also said it would not be possible for Zaldy Ampatuan to turn state witness if he is facing a conspiracy charge.

He argued that under the law of evidence, conspiracy must be proven independently of the crime itself.

Gonzalez said that if there was a decision to waylay and kill the Mangudadatus in a meeting or conclave before the incident and Zaldy was in it, then that does not save him.

He also added that it would be useless for the former President to testify for Zaldy Ampatuan if the charge is conspiracy.

Gonzalez said Arroyo can only give an alibi which would not save him from a conspiracy charge.

Arroyo was initially in the list of witnesses for the defense. She has since been dropped, but Gonzalez was listed in her place.

Gonzalez, however, said he did see Zaldy Ampatuan in Malacañan at the time of the massacre.

Gonzalez said there was a Cabinet meeting at that time but he couldn’t say for sure if Ampatuan joined the meeting.

This is also why Gonzalez disputed Ampatuan’s claim that Arroyo just doesn’t want to get involved.

“Paano siya ilaglag ni Presidente if he’s part of the conspiracy…when conspiracy is charged, bale wala ang alibi, whatever the President will say, wala na rin. Paano siya ilaglag kung may conspiracy? How can Gloria say he is not guilty if they can prove he is part of the conspiracy?” he said.

 

Mindanao Philsaga Foundation, Inc.

Mindanao Philsaga Foundation, Inc.

 

Vision

 

To seeing the Filipino people improve their quality of life by addressing the minimum basic needs of the people at provincial, municipal and barangay levels with special emphasis on education of the youth and protecting and improving the environment.

 

Mission

 

To alleviate the social, economic, health and education needs of the people at provincial, municipal and barangay levels by providing scholarship to the poor and deserving students by assisting them in their livelihood for their social and economic upliftment.

 

Goal

 

To provide the ultimate basic needs of the people residing in target areas (Agusan del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte, Davao City, Surigao del Sur) at all levels by 25% and assist them in maintaining this level.

 

Philsaga Mining Corporation (PSMC)

“A socially-responsible and environment-friendly company”

TRENTO COUNCILOR PERMITA LAMBERTO The trailblazing woman leader

TRENTO COUNCILOR PERMITA LAMBERTO

The trailblazing woman leader

By Anthony S. Allada

 

Living a few kilometers away from the municipal hall, first term municipal councilor Permita Lamberto has no qualms backriding on a Honda wave motorcycle to attend the council session.

Her driver is also her own private secretary, Jonathan Bonite, who was once a confidante of the former town mayor.

“She is really very simple but very hardworking municipal councilor,” comments Bonite.

Before being elected as a municipal councilor, Lamberto served as a three-term barangay kagawad in Todela. She was the committee chair on education and appropriation. And her great performance there was her vehicle to win the municipal council race in the 2010 national and local elections in Trento town in Agusan del Sur.

As a councilor, she is the committee chair on agrarian reform and housing and land utilization and vice chair on committee on women.

“Our priority projects as of now are the distribution of housing units to poor families. We have already houses ready for distribution,” Lamberto quips.

Unlike other council sessions where councilors have only to stay for two to three hours, Trento municipal councilmen spend the whole day to tackle significant issues and approve resolutions and ordinances. Tuesday is their council session.

Lamberto said if still given a chance, she would prefer to serve the people in nine years time so that she can continue to be of service to them.

Manobo tribesmen making a difference

Manobo tribesmen making a difference

By Anthony S. Allada

Palm oil, Jatropha, high-valued timber specie and mongo plants abound in the homeland of Manobo tribesmen in La Paz and Talacogon municipalities in Agusan del Sur.

These places were once forested areas surrounded by hilly ridges and rivers with only some trees and basic crops existed in the past.

This time, thousands of palm oil trees with a multi-cropping of high-valued timber specie, mongo and Jatropha, are making the place a productive one, improving the lives of the indigenous peoples there.

Datu Bunanat Francisco O. Hernandez, Manobo Tribe Administrator, said their efforts and initiatives are long-term and that they are not only doing it simply for livelihood purpose but to “secure our people and preserve our culture and rich natural resources.”

Hernandez, who married Bae Merlin Coguit, the heir of the legendary Manobo leader Datu Hawadon Tagleong Coguit, is taking things in the right place as he is now applying what he has learned from his studies abroad.

He established diplomatic ties with foreign investors whom he was able to convince to partner with the Datu Tagleong Group of Companies in doing business in their place.

“We have our vast farm lands and our foreign counterparts will provide the technical aspect. The very good thing here is we have established the trust between us,” he said, adding the entire Manobo tribe living in the area would benefit such healthy partnership.

Hernandez cited their new project scheme where their company will provide mango seedlings to be planted to the farm lands tilled by their fellow Manobo tribesmen. These people will not be relocated but they would still stay there until those mango trees matured and bear fruits. “They themselves are the ones who can harvest them.”

While it is into international business involving high-value crops, the Tagleong company remains to be environmentally-responsible, assures Hernandez.

Aside from this, the Datu Tagleong Group of Companies is never remiss of practicing its corporate social responsibility since it built a school for day-care pupils and has student scholars in college, high school and elementary levels.

“This is our way of educating more Manobo tribesmen,” Hernandez said.

Barangay Captain Rosendo Tagleong, Bae Merlin’s nephew, is also there to see to it that they have the pertinent documents in complying the requirements of government agencies like the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), local government unit, among others. (ASA)

 

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