Addt’l excise tax for mining being studied

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    Albay Rep. Joey Salceda is eyeing to propose higher excise tax for mining as well as additional tax for a sovereign wealth fund.

    Salceda told finance reporters in a breakfast meeting in Mandaluyong last Friday that he will push for a three percent increase in mining taxes.

    “Essentially, I’m increasing the excise tax by one percent(age point), from four percent to five percent,” Salceda said.

    “For sovereign wealth, two percent (tax) from zero. All collections by one administration cannot be used by them, it can only be used by the next administration,” he added.
    Salceda said the collected amount for the sovereign wealth fund can be placed in a trust fund with the Bureau of the Treasury.

    “Norway imposes (a sovereign wealth tax) on their oil and I think we should also use that on our oil if we have oil. It’s a non-repeating resource, the gold… belongs to the Philippines and belongs to the next Filipinos,” Salceda said.

    “Because you have to wait two million years… to at least produce the next ounce of gold, for example. So there at least should be intertemporal benefits across generations,” he added.

    According to a report released earlier this year by the National Tax Research Center, the tax research arm of the Department of Finance, the mining industry is a significant growth driver of an economy, but the progress of the industry in the Philippines is proceeding at an extremely slow pace.

    “The limited economic and fiscal contribution of mining industry may be due to limitation in the current fiscal policy framework and development program of the national government,” the report said.

    “The proposals to establish a new mining fiscal regime are timely and highly justified in order to realize the gains and benefits from the mining industry,” it added. — Angela Lorraine Celis