South Cotabato posts P21.6-M in mining, quarry revenues

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, February 4 — The provincial government of South Cotabato surpassed its revenue target from mining and quarry taxes last year, reaching an “all-time high” of P21.6 million.

Nencita Acain, mines and geosciences division chief of the Provincial Environment Management Office (PEMO), said Friday the total collections in 2017 increased by nearly P3 million when compared to the previous year that reached P18.7 million.

She said the monthly average collection also surged to P1.8 million from last year’s average of P1.56 million.

Due to the increase in tax collection, the provincial government’s share has increased to P8.3 million from P7.5 million in 2016.

The official attributed such accomplishment to the aggressive collection efforts of the Provincial Treasurer’s Office and their strict implementation of mining and quarry policies.

Acain specifically cited the proper enforcement of mining regulations and the crackdown against unlicensed mine tunnels and processing plants in small-scale mining areas in T’boli town.

Records from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Mines and Geosciences Bureau showed that T’boli town’s gold rush area hosts a total of 159 small-scale mine tunnels.

Some 100 tunnels are situated in Barangay Kematu and 49 in the neighboring Barangay Desawo.

The agency noted that 34 tunnels are operating within the Minahang Bayan with active permits, 47 have no permits and three had been abandoned by their owners or operators.

The Provincial Mining Regulatory Board issued a cease and desist order in October last year to 75 mine tunnels after being found to have been operating outside a declared mining area and lacking proper permits and licenses.

Acain said they will intensify the monitoring and crackdown against erring mining operators this year as they project even higher revenues by yearend.

“We expected a significant increase in our income this 2018 because of the amendments to the local revenue code,” she said.

The amended revenue code has set significant increases to mining and sand and gravel impositions, she said.

The provincial imposition under quarry and mining 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).(PNA)

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