Mining firms contribute P52.7 B to gov’t coffers

By Zinnia B. dela Pena, The Philippine Star

Posted at Dec 18 2014 07:58 AM | Updated as of Dec 18 2014 03:58 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The country’s extractive industries composed of mining and oil and gas firms contributed P52.7 billion to state coffers, according to the EITI Philippines multi-stakeholder group.

This was the adjusted figure following further scrutiny by the Philippine EITI group which counted an additional P17 billion from oil and gas companies.

Firms engaged in petroleum and natural gas extraction remit corporate income tax as part of government share to the Department of Energy.

About P17 billion was initially thought of as a repeat declaration but a subsequent trace of the amount by the DoE and the PH-EITI independent administrator, Isla Lipana & Co., proved that the amount was not a matter of double-counting, but was, in fact, an actual and separate payment from oil and gas companies to the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

As such, PH-EITI adjusted the under-declared amount of oil and gas contributions to P46.5 billion from the original figure of P29.01 billion.

Philippine Petroleum Association of the Upstream Industry Inc. president and Shell Philippines Exploration BV managing director Sebastian C. Quinones Jr. said the group fully supports the government’s efforts to ensure transparency of payments from natural resources.

“It is an important part of our thrust for transparency that the correct data on the revenues of government from the upstream oil and gas industry be disseminated to the public at the soonest possible time. We also hope this will avert more inconsistencies about information released to other government branches, such as the Senate, Congress, and of course, DOE and BIR,” Quinones said.

Finance Assistant Secretary Teresa Habitan, who is the focal person for the PH-EITI, said the PH-EITI aims to elevate the standards of reporting on the extractive industry to build a better informed policy environment for the management of the sector.

“I view this as part of our learning curve, and highlights the best reason why we need EITI in the country. We get a lot of data from all sources, but unless this is properly processed and compiled, it can often lead to a lot of confusion and unintentional misimpressions.”

The mining firm’s contribution to excise tax collection was only three percent in 2012, a far cry from the 45.5 percent contribution of tobacco, 33 percent of alcohol, and 14 percent of petroleum products.

Read more on The Philippine Star.