TUBA, Benguet – The management of the Philex Mining Corporation recently turned over the total amount of P15.3 million to the municipal governments of Tuba and Itogon as full payment of its business taxes due to its host communities for this year pursuant to the earlier agreement of both local governments for the equal sharing of the company’s business taxes until their boundary dispute shall have been settled with finality.
Engr. Manuel Agcaoili, Philex senior vice president for operations and resident manager, personally turned over to Mayor Ignacio Rivera a check amounting to more than P7.9 million and a separate check amounting to P7.4 million to Itogon Mayor Victorio Palangdan in full payment of the company’s business taxes to the two local governments for this year computed based on the firm’s gross receipts last year.
“We want to sustain our harmonious working relationships with the officials and residents of our host and neighboring communities and the prompt payment of the taxes due the local governments is one of the ways in sustaining our good relationship with them,” Agcaoili stressed.
It will be recalled local officials of Tuba and Itogon agreed to equally divide the business taxes to be paid by the company annually after Philex was able to fully settle its accumulated business taxes to the two local governments sometime in 2014 and that the payments shall be made to the municipalities annually after the settlement shall have been completed.
Mayor Rivera said the municipal government will wisely utilize the additional revenues to fund the implementation of sustainable income-generating projects under the town’s Annual Investment Plan (AIP) to help bring the municipality to greater heights.
“We will closely work with the members of the municipal council to identify high impact income-generating projects to be funded from our share of the business tax paid by Philex to the local government. As much as possible, we want to establish income-generating projects to sustain the town’s first-class status even beyond the company’s projected mine life,” Rivera said.
Included among the potential income-generating projects being eyed by the local government are the development of ecotourism sites, the establishment of agro-forestry and livestock demo farm, and the put up of appropriate infrastructures that will inter-connect the municipality with other neighboring towns in the Cordillera and Ilocos regions.
For his part, Mayor Palangdan disclosed Itogon’s share from the business taxes paid by Philex will be used to put up the town’s legislative building aside from the possible rehabilitation of its agriculture building and its gymnasium.
However, Palangdan claimed the utilization of the town’s share will be identified through consultations with the members of the municipal council and concerned stakeholders in the locality for transparency and accountability.
Both Mayor Rivera and Palangdan expressed their gratitude to the Philex management for the company’s significant contribution to the development of their barangays through the funds infused to the coffers of both local governments from the various taxes paid over the past six decades of the company’s operation and their share of the national wealth taxes from the national government.
Under the provisions of Republic Act (RA) 7160 or the Local Government Code of the Philippines, companies exploiting, developing and utilizing the country’s rich natural resources are obliged to pay to the national government the so-called national wealth tax wherein 60 percent will remain with the national treasury while 40 percent will be equitably shared by the host communities.
Philex is one of the country’s major producer of gold and copper in the country having its operations in Padcal, Camp 3 here.
The two local chief executives assured company officials that the money being infused to their local governments will be wisely used for the development of the municipalities to ensure increased economic activities and sources of livelihood to help improve the lives of people in the different barangays.