15 more mining firms to undergo audit | Inquirer Business

15 more mining firms to undergo audit

By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 05:28 AM December 19, 2018

Fifteen more mining firms will undergo audit of their operations by the interagency Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) to determine compliance with rules and standards, the Department of Finance (DOF) said on Tuesday.

Also, the MICC, during its meeting cochaired by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu last week, “deferred a recommendation on the lifting of the moratorium on the issuance of new mineral agreements,” the DOF said in a statement.

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“Executive Order (EO) 79 imposed a moratorium on new mineral agreements ‘until a legislation rationalizing existing revenue-sharing schemes and mechanisms shall have taken effect.’ The Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, or Republic Act No. 10963, increased the excise tax on mineral products from 2 percent to 4 percent. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) queried whether the increase would be considered as having satisfied the condition of a legislation rationalizing the existing revenue-sharing scheme. However, the DOF clarified that TRAIN only increased the excise taxes and did not cover the implementation of a new fiscal regime for mining. The new fiscal regime proposed by the DOF covers other taxes and fees such as royalty, windfall, profit and incentives,” the DOF explained.

As such, the MICC deferred to recommend lifting the moratorium on new mineral agreements as the new revenue-sharing scheme under the proposed tax reform package “2 plus” remains pending in Congress.

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Last month, the lower House already passed House Bill No. 8400 containing the new mining fiscal regime imposing taxes on all mine operations.

As for the next round of audit of mining companies’ operations, the DOF said the MICC wanted to “commission the same team of experts following their outputs on the review of the environmental, economic, social, legal and technical aspects of the first batch of 26 mining companies.”

Dominguez had said the technical review team was “highly commendable.”

The MICC as early as the first half of last year was supposed to undertake a review of the 26 mining sites ordered shut down or suspended by former DENR chief Regina Paz Lopez.

The review was delayed by more than a year due to lack of funding.

The MICC, formed through EO No. 79 issued by former President Benigno Aquino III in 2012, was mandated to conduct a multi-stakeholder review of mining operations every two years, but only now had it been able to do so.

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TAGS: mining firms, Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC
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