BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya—Asia-Pacific miner OceanaGold, the operator of the Didipio gold-copper mine located between Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya and Cabarroguis, Quirino, paid P92 million in 2017 business taxes to the government of Kasibu on July 24.
A tax payment certificate and mayor’s permit to operate dated Aug. 7, signed by Kasibu Mayor Alberto “Chito” Bumolo Jr., indicated the business tax plus an additional P226,450 as mayor’s permit fee.
“OceanaGold, as a good corporate citizen, has been explicit in stating its intentions to fulfill its moral, legal and ethical obligations. The tax payments are tangible results of the cumulative efforts of the dedicated men and women who work in the Didipio mine,” said David Way, OceanaGold Didipio’s general manager.
Way hopes the tax payments would translate to further development for Kasibu, a third-class municipality of Nueva Vizcaya.
“Delivering hope for better lives to our communities motivates us to constantly innovate and pursue excellence in all our activities. As a responsible mining firm, we strive to leave behind a positive legacy ensuring the sustainable future of our communities,” Way said.
At present, three municipal governments—Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya and the towns of Cabarroguis and Nagtipunan in the province of Quirino—claim collaborative jurisdiction over the Didipio mine’s operating activities.
The other local tax being levied on the company, the real property tax, has been subject of a court interpleader case filed before a Makati Regional Trial Court. The case had been filed as Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino had both assessed the tax for the Didipio mine. The court has not yet decided on the case.
Despite the pending case, OceanaGold has settled its 2015 to 2017 real property tax payment to Nueva Vizcaya amounting to P101 million.
The contribution of the mining industry to economic development has been in the spotlight after its contribution to the national coffers has been underestimated.
In the case of Didipio, OceanaGold’s records reveal the company has so far contributed P3.2 billion in taxes and social investment expenditures since its commercial operation commenced in April 2013.