Saturday, December 6, 2014

MGP pays Php2-B in taxes to government
By Norman B. Tamar

AROROY, Masbate, Dec. 5 (PNA) -- In the past five years of its operation in this town from 2008 to 2013, the Masbate Gold Project paid over Php2.028 billion in regulatory fees and taxes to the local government unit and the community, according to a top official of the Filminera Resources Corp., a sister company of the MGP.

Gene Gregorio, FRC corporate affairs officer, said that with this amount of contribution to the fiscal resources of the LGU of Aroroy, the MGP accounts for almost 8 out of 10 taxes generated locally by the municipal government.

“MGP’s total tax payment to the LGU is almost one-third of its total taxable base, including the internal revenue allotment (IRA) from the national government,” Gregorio added.

Meanwhile, the FRC paid Php305-million in 2012, about 43-fold from Php7.2-million in 2008.

On the other hand, the Philippine Gold Processing and Refining Corp. (PGPRC), which processes and refines the mineral product, remitted over Php213-million in 2012 – more than double the amount of Php93.5-million remitted in 2008.

Gregorio noted that a typical LGU sources it taxes from the national government in terms of its share in the IRA and from local taxes such as business permits, business licenses, and local fees.

Many LGUs tend to aim for a higher share of local taxes in its total tax base in order to wean away from over-dependence on the national government, he said.

In fact, some LGUs strive to generate more of their taxes from so-called internal sources such as real estate and business taxes in order to be more independent from the national government and flexible in its plans and projects.

Among the significant sources of local income of the municipality are the real property and business taxes.

Gregorio said that from Php17.1 million in 2009, Aroroy’s real estate tax revenues more than doubled to Php34.7-million in 2012.

Revenues from business licenses also shot up sevenfold from Php4.0-million in 2008 to over Php28-million in 2012.

The real estate taxes paid by MGP in 2011 to Aroroy alone would already account for 80 percent of the combined real estate taxes paid to all the 20 municipalities under the province of Masbate.

In 2011, business taxes paid by MGP to Aroroy alone would already account for 64 percent of the combined business taxes paid to all the 20 municipalities in the province of Masbate.

“The combined real estate and local business taxes paid by MGP in 2011 to Aroroy alone would already account for 46 percent of the total real estate and business taxes received by the 20 municipalities under the province of Masbate,” Gregorio said.

Meanhwile, the real estate taxes paid by MGP in 2011 to the Provincial Government of Masbate already accounted for 69 percent of the real estate taxes collected by the LGU, he added.

Gregorio said that assuming that the mandated shares of the LGUs from the excise taxes have been remitted to these LGUs, MGP alone should account for the following:

1. Eight percent of the total tax receipts (combination of local taxes and allotments from the national government) of the 20 municipalities of Masbate;

2. Discounting the IRA, the MGP would have accounted for more than a third of the total tax receipts of the municipalities of Masbate;

3. MGP alone should account for 6 percent of the total tax receipts of the provincial government of Masbate; and,

4. Without the IRA, MGP’s local tax payments would have contributed over one-half of the total tax receipts of the provincial government.

“Overall, the fiscal impact of MGP’s regulatory and tax payments has, to a large extent, increased the base of local taxes of the municipalities and the provincial governments,” Gregorio claimed..

All these exclude the social development and management program (SDMP), including information and education campaign, representing the direct contribution of MGP to the eight affected barangays.

From just Php7.65-million in 2009, SMDP payments of MGP had reached over Php15.8-million in 2012, the FRC official disclosed.

Meanwhile, the barangays’ estimated share in excise taxes in 2012 should be about Php33.6-million – from just Php8.6-million in 2009, he added. (PNA) CTB/FGS/NBT/CBD/