ITOGON, Benguet – Mayor Victorio T. Palangdan underscored that mining, power generation and other companies exploiting the resources within the jurisdiction of local governments should directly remit their taxes to the host communities and not to their central offices based in the national Capital Region (NCR).
Palangdan pointed out that Benguet could have achieved its first class status way back in the 1990s if the mining and power generation companies directly remitted to the concerned local government their corporate taxes, among other similar revenues, as the said companies had been at the peak of their operations then.
Under pertinent provisions of Republic Act (RA) 7160 or the Local Government Code of the Philippines, companies with branch offices in the different parts of the country are mandated to pay their corporate taxes in their central offices which are mostly located in the Metro Manila area.
The municipal chief executive pointed out that such discriminatory provision of the law must be corrected with the filing of the appropriate legislation so that the companies operating in the province will be compelled to pay their taxes to the host local governments to provide them internally generated revenues.
According to him, Benguet should have been one of the most developed provinces in the country had the existing mining and power generation companies been paying their taxes to the host local governments but this is not the case because instead, the taxes generated from the province had been contributory to the development of cities in Metro Manila where the central offices of the companies are located.
The mayor asserted that government must change such a totally imbalanced set up in terms of development by allowing companies with operations in the provinces to pay their taxes to the host local governments to allow a balanced state of development, especially in the rural areas, to pave the way for better quality of life of the people.
Mayor Palangdan claimed that he will pursue the passage of the direct remittance bill that had been previously filed by lawmakers from the different parts of the Cordillera to compel companies having field offices to pay their taxes to their host local governments to allow lower class localities to generate internally generated resources to enhance the delivery of basic services and to implement high impact development projects that will improve the well-being of people in the countryside.
He claimed it is unfortunate that companies had been gaining enormous income from the resources within the jurisdiction of local governments that had been protected by the people over time but host communities received only minimal revenues as most of their income had been remitted to the local governments where their central offices are based, thus, the need to change the set up considering that it is the host communities that also bear the environmental and social costs of their operations.
The direct remittance bill had been repeatedly filed by various Cordillera lawmakers in the different Congresses but these had been pending in the concerned committees because of the enormous lobbying done by these corporations.