Gullas backs crafting of new mining policyBy Cynthia D. Balana
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines – Cebu Representative Eduardo Gullas voiced support Saturday for the adoption of a new and progressive mining policy that would protect the environment and spur economic growth, especially in the areas to be affected.
“We are hoping that the new policy will reinforce environmental protection and ensure more inclusive economic and employment growth, particularly for communities around mine sites,” Gullas said.
He said that mining communities should not only be kept safe, but must also benefit to the greatest extent from the exploitation of the mineral resources in their areas.
Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said he expected President Benigno Aquino III to sign a new mining policy in the next few days.
Meanwhile, Gullas cited Philex Mining Corp. and Nickel Asia Corp., two major industry players, for emerging as the country’s top taxpayers in the mining sector.
Bureau of Internal Revenue records showed that 54-year-old Philex paid P1.804 billion in taxes on gross sales of P12.673 billion, making it the industry’s biggest taxpayer, and the ninth-largest among all corporate taxpayers in the country.
Next to Philex, 37-year-old Nickel Asia’s four subsidiaries—Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corp., Taganito Mining Corp., Cagdianao Mining Corp., and Hinatuan Mining Corp.—which paid a combined P1.149 billion in taxes on cumulative gross sales of P8.293 billion.
All figures were based on the BIR’s Top 500 Non-Individual Taxpayers for Taxable Year 2010.