GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/08 February) — South Cotabato’s mining and quarry revenues have dropped by around P3 million last year but officials expect the collections to pick up in the first quarter of the year.
Siegfred Flaviano, Provincial Environment Management Office (PEMO) chief, said the area’s mining and quarry tax collections only reached a total of P12.15 million based on the consolidated receipts from January to December last year.
He said that last December, they were able to collect a total of P1.109 million, which is slightly higher that their average monthly collection of P1.012 million.
“We’re expecting a bigger collection for January and February compared to our monthly average due to the renewal of permits and payment of fees by our small-scale mining operators,” he said in a statement.
Flaviano said the province’s share in the mining and quarry tax collection amounted to P4.534 million while the rest was shared by the city and municipal governments.
The provincial imposition under mining and quarry covers sand and gravel tax; mining tax; mining permit fee; ore transport fee; occupational mining tax; verification fee; filing fee; permit fee; projection fee; processing fee; fines/penalties/surcharges; and, miscellaneous (delivery receipts).
The province’s mining and quarry tax collections have been on an upward trend in the last three years or since 2010.
In 2010, the province posted a total collection P406,834.05 and it increased to P3,518,287 in 2011.
It reached an all-time high of P 15,790,315.30 in 2012, PEMO records showed.
Flaviano attributed their improved tax collections to the continuing crackdown against illegal small-scale mining and quarry operations in the province.
He said they earlier issued closure orders to ball mill operators and mineral ore processors in T’boli town that were found to have been operating without proper permits and licenses.
The provincial government issued the closure orders in compliance with a directive from the Provincial Mining Regulatory Board (PMRB) and the provisions of Provincial Ordinance No. 7, series of 2003.
Ordinance No. 7 specifically sets the “taxes, fees, charges and other impositions on small-scale mining, mineral processing operations and transporting of mineral ore within the province of South Cotabato.”
The PMRB directed the crackdown against unlicensed or unregistered ore processors and ball mills as part of its campaign against illegal mining operations in the province.
Based on the provincial government’s monitoring, around 300 ball mills and 200 ore processing plants were operating in T’boli town.
In the last three years, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Mines and Geosciences Bureau in Region 12 said the province has consistently topped the collection on mining and quarry taxes among local government units in the region.
Region 12, which is also known as the Soccsksargen Region, comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato. (MindaNews)