Governments risk repelling companies with new levies and other pressure
MANILA — Governments of resource-rich Asian countries are slapping new levies and tightening screws on mining companies, hoping to extract more revenue from natural assets to cover ballooning infrastructure and public works costs.
In the next round of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s tax reform program, the Finance Department plans to impose a royalty tax equivalent to 5% of the market value of mineral products extracted or produced. The levy is to be based on gross output and exclusive of all other taxes, and will be imposed on sites declared to have mineral reserves, according to local media reports.
The Philippines doubled excise taxes on metallic and nonmetallic resources to 4% and 2%, respectively, last December.
The heavier tax burden could affect the development and production of nickel, copper and their byproducts, including gold. The Chamber of Mines of the Philippines hopes the policy, if passed, would only apply to future projects and not existing ones that have finished feasibility studies.
The new pressure comes as the industry continues to reel from mine closures carried out by former Environment Secretary Gina Lopez, an activist.
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