Mining exec: New tax bill will kill the sector
The Philippines stands to lose existing and potential investments in the mining sector if a new fiscal regime in the second package of the government’s banner tax program pushes through, according to an executive from the mining industry.
Both the departments of Finance and Environment and Natural Resources supported the imposition of a 5-percent royalty payment on all mining operations, to be included in the Tax Reform for Attracting Better and High-quality Opportunities (Trabaho) bill.
Royalties are originally slapped only on mineral reservation areas since the government spends considerable amount of funds to explore these areas themselves.
According to Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) chair and Nickel Asia Corp. president and CEO Gerard H. Brimo, the country stands to lose “quality investments” with the proposal, noting this would make mining operations “too expensive.”
“You cannot expect investors to come here under that tax structure … Everybody thinks we are making a lot of money but reality is, we are not. Some of us are losing money for the last two years…” he said.
“We are talking about billions of pesos in lost investments, lost taxes, particularly employment and social development that is critical,” he added.
Mines could close down, Brimo said, noting “these are big mines.”
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