Maybe because Australia still has not introduced the new mineral tax it had been planning to do for over the year, the Philippines is planning to consult Chile on doing the same. Let’s hope the example of the Philippines encourages Australia to do the same.
Phl seeks Chile’s help on mining industry tax
RUSSKY ISLAND, Vladivostok – As it moves to generate more funds for government coffers, the Aquino administration is seeking the help of Chile on how the Philippine government can best tap the country’s mining resources without sacrificing the environment.
This was revealed here yesterday by Secretaries Albert del Rosario of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Cesar Purisima of the Department of Finance, who both attended President Aquino’s bilateral meeting with his Chilean counterpart President Sebastian Piñera.
“We are seeking their cooperation (as well) in terms of being able to share with us their best practices in mining, in terms of responsible mining,” Del Rosario told Manila-based reporters here covering the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Russia.
Purisima, whose jurisdiction includes the Bureau of Internal Revenue, agreed.
“We are looking into the best practices of Chile in taxing their mining industry. As you know, Chile is the world’s largest exporter of copper,” Purisima said.
“A few years ago they revised the scheme of taxation of their mining industry to one that recognizes the volatility of mining prices. So, this is one that we would like to study,” he explained.
Purisima disclosed Chile had, in fact, “sent some technical advisers to the Philippines to assist our Bureau of Internal Revenue.”
Aquino issued Executive Order 79 last July, prohibiting mining in 78 identified eco-tourism sites that also include farms, marine sanctuaries and island ecosystems in response to the public clamor to protect the environment from the adverse effects of mining activities.
Aquino did not impose a new taxation scheme, however, leaving the issue up to Congress.
Aquino had promised to reduce significantly the 98 percent profit of miners and cut this by as much as 30 percent, or to about 68 percent, and up the government’s take – by means of taxes – from two percent to 32 percent.
Aside from discussing ways for the Philippine government to improve tax revenues and curb tax evasion, the possibility of going into a geothermal partnership with Chile is being looked into.
“The Philippines, being number two in geothermal in the world, and Chile is very interested in learning from the Philippines and possibly having the Philippines invest in its geothermal undertakings in Chile,” Del Rosario said.
There were also discussions, according to Del Rosario, on “cooperation in aquaculture” as well as sending Filipino teachers “to a larger part of the population in Chile” who need to learn English.
Purisima said the Chilean leader expressed interest in the Philippines in light of the “commonalities” between the two countries, which have a “shared heritage,” thus necessitating the nourishment of each other’s diplomatic and economic ties.
“In fact, that’s the reason why the President of Chile expressed his desire to work closely with the Philippines to further Chile’s economic relationship with the Asia and the Pacific,” Purisima said.
“The President of Chile also invited the President to visit Chile as part of furthering our bilateral relationships. He also noted that he’s been to the Philippines three times as a private sector person and that he enjoyed his visit each time,” he said.