By Lilybeth G. Ison
MANILA, (PNA) — Malacanang on Thursday said it is finalizing the draft that would detail the revenue sharing arrangements for the mining sector.
“There are drafts already of the legislation for the mining tax. So we expect them to be vetted by the larger economic cluster in the next few weeks,” said Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) Secretary Ricky Carandang in a press briefing.
This was in reaction to a reported statement from the president of the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines that mining investments will drop in the next three years.
In explaining the delay in the formulation of the mining tax scheme, Carandang said the Mining Industry Coordinating Council just wanted to make sure that all stakeholders are consulted.
“We’ve taken into account the stakeholders. There are many stakeholders here. There are mining companies, the industry, there are environmentalists, there are local governments and we try as much as possible to engage them as we come up with something like this,” he said.
“There has been a lot of back and forth between the MICC and the different stakeholders so we are just making sure that everyone is consulted and we’re already actually writing the (draft for the) legislation,” he added.
Although the government is aware of the possible implications on the delay in the coming out of a legislation for the mining tax scheme on the mining investment targets, Carandang said, the government “would rather get this thing right than hold ourselves to some deadline that may or may not be met.”
“At the end of the day, the industry and even the local governments would rather have something that is acceptable for the most number of people, even if it comes down to not submitting it, say, within the next week or so,” he said.
The Chamber of Mines earlier said mining investments in the Philippines will likely to decrease in the next three years due to a government plan to increase taxes that will make the industry uncompetitive.
The Chamber said the government would not achieve the investment target, citing recent proposals to raise the taxes on mining companies.
The government is expecting mining investments to reach US$ 3.3 billion in 2013 to 2016 from a previous estimate of US$ 2.9 billion.
The Mines and Geosciences Bureau said mining investments in 2013 would hit US$ 1 billion, higher than the original forecast of US$ 718 million.
It also revised the target to US$ 901.75 million for 2014 from an initial goal of US$ 851.75 million.
The MGB maintained the investment targets of US$ 757.60 million in 2015 and US$ 619.50 million in 2016.