TUBA, Benguet – Philex Mining Corporation remitted to the municipal governments of Tuba and Itogon a total of P50 million as the second tranche of its 3-tranche remittance to the two local governments in relation to a compromise agreement it entered with its host and neighboring communities to settle its unpaid tax obligations over the past several years.
Lawyer Eduardo M. Aratas, chief of Philex’s legal and administrative division based in Padcal here, said the P50 million was equally divided by the two local governments as the company paid its host communities in cash instead of funding the priority lists of the municipalities.
“The payment of our agreed obligation in the form of cash instead of funding the list of the priority projects of the concerned municipal governments will allow local officials to have the flexibility of determining the priority concerns of their respective constituents,” Aratas stressed.
He pointed out Philex is always ready to contribute in the overall development of their host and neighboring communities and the improvement and upliftment of the living condition of their people while mining operations are underway.
It can be recalled that in May 2014, Philex management and local officials of Itogon and Tuba agreed for a settlement on its tax obligations with the payment of P200 million and each local government getting P100 million each. 50 percent or P100 million was paid to the two local governments in the form of cash while the remaining P100 million balanced was supposed to be paid to the concerned local governments in the form of projects, P26 million each was to be paid before the end of 2014 while the remaining P25 million each will be paid on or before the end of the third quarter this year.
According to him, Itogon and Tuba received their P25 million share from the second tranche release last December 29, 2014 while their remaining share of P25 million each will be released to their respective municipal treasurers on or before September 30, 2015.
Philex officials and local officials of Itogon and Tuba entered into an amended agreement encompassing the details of the remaining balance of the company’s unpaid obligations to the two localities.
Gov. Nestor B. Fongwan commended the mining company for religiously adhering to its agreed obligation to the two municipal governments, citing that the funds released to the local governments will guarantee direct and indirect benefits to their constituents once utilized to fund the implementation of their priority projects and to enhance the delivery of basic services to the people in their places.
“We are elated that Philex continues to uphold its status as a responsible mining company mindful of the welfare of not only its work force but also people living in its host and neighboring communities, ”Fongwan said.
He applead to concerned government agencies, local governments and host and neighboring communities having conflicts with investors in their respective places to practice the doctrine of dialogue and consultation to prevent the occurrence of conflicts that might compromise the smooth conduct of business operations and would derail robust economic growth beneficial to the upliftment of the living condition of the people.