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Mining industry backs profits-based royalty regime

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THE Chamber of Mines has signalled its support for a royalty system based on profits.

“We will support a profits-based tax structure that we believe is progressive and will maintain the Philippines’ competitiveness vis-a-vis other mining jurisdictions,” CoMP Vice-President for Communications Rocky G. Dimaculangan told BusinessWorld in a phone message on Tuesday.

The statement follows third-reading approval at the House of a bill on the mining fiscal regime, imposing a 1 to 5% royalty on mining operations, depending on whether they are within or outside mineral reservations.

House Bill 8400, An Act Establishing the Fiscal Regime for the Mining Industry, will lower the royalty of mining companies within mineral reserves to 3% of gross output from the current 5%.

“The Chamber of Mines does not believe that any further taxes imposed on the industry are warranted… Nevertheless, given the pressure for further tax increases, the Chamber is of the opinion that a structure based on a profits-based royalty and a windfall profits tax as passed by the House, with the rates thereon tied to operating margins, is the most equitable manner in achieving this,” he added. — Charmaine A. Tadalan