Seizure of their properties eyed

POLITICAL TITANS. Some of the region’s top political leaders gathered on June 29 at the behest of Leyte congressman and Speaker Martin Romualdez. Among those who attended were Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez, Leyte Rep. Richard Gomez, Eastern Samar Gov. Ben Evardone, and Northern Samar Gov. Edwin Ongchuan. (Ben Evadone Facebook)

TACLOBAN CITY– The provincial government of Eastern Samar is demanding payment from four mining companies that are extracting minerals at the historic island of Homonhon off Guiuan town due to their failure to pay real property tax (RPT).

These mining companies, Cambayas Mining Corp., Techiron Resources Inc., Emir Mineral Resources Corp., and Mt. Sinai Exploration and Development Corp., have failed to pay their RPT taxes to the provincial government for years now amounting to P133 million in total, Governor Ben Evardone said.

The governor said that the failure of these mining companies to pay their obligations would result in the seizure of their properties and equipment.

It was learned that the Cambayas Mining Corp. has a tax liability of P96.57 million covering the years of 2012-2016; Techiron Resources Inc. has a tax obligation of P22.56 million for the period of 2017 to 2022; Emir Mineral Resources Corp., P12.14 million for the years of 2017 to 2022; and Mt. Sinai Exploration and Development Corp., P2.58 million for the year 2013.

The assessment of extracted minerals by mining companies was based on the ore transport permit (OTP) issued by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB).

These mining companies were separately granted mining permits by the government: Cambayas Mining Corp. in 2009; Techiron Resources Inc. in 2015; and Emir Mineral Resources Corp. and Mt. Sinai Exploration and Development Corp., both in 2010.

These mining firms are extracting chromite in Homonhon Island and are therefore subject to real property taxation under the Local Government Code of 1991, Evardone reasoned.
On top of complying with all the mining laws, especially on environmental and social protection, they should also pay taxes correctly, the governor insisted.

“These taxes on extracted minerals are different from taxes on machineries and equipment being used by mining companies. The province is still in the process of determining the assessed value of their tax liabilities on their machineries and equipment,” he added.

Failure of these companies to pay their tax obligations to the provincial government, ‘we will be forced to levy or seize their properties as provided by law,’ Evardone said.

The governor has earlier cited the failure of the national government to give their share in excise tax being paid by these mining companies, which could run into millions of pesos.