Gov. Barbers Gets Support from Mining Execs

Presidents and Chief Executive Officers of the different operational and under exploration mining companies in the province recently manifested their commitment to support the development programs of Gov. Robert Ace Barbers during the Fellowship Meeting hosted by the province at the Makati Shangri-la Hotel just recently.

In his welcome message, Vice Gov. Noel Catre emphasized that the meeting was aimed at discussing how the province can effectively and harmoniously implement the recently approved Provincial Environment Code and Tax Ordinance No. 03, otherwise known as the Environment Regulatory Ordinance of 2007, and other environmental programs and projects in the province.

The meeting likewise provided a venue for the provincial officials to enlighten the mining executives as to where the proceeds of the newly imposed taxes will go. “All these interventions were made by the province to help us rise above the economic challenges that we are confronting at present.” Emphasized Gov. Robert Ace S. Barbers. The governor in his presentation, stressed the ironic situation of the province being one of the richest in mineral and other natural resources, yet was recently identified as among the five poorest provinces in the country according to the Peace and Equity Development Index in a recent survey.

“The proceeds of the taxes that you will pay will directly benefit the Surigaonons in the form of basic services that we will be able to provide them out of the income that we will derive from the mining industry,” added the governor.

On the same occasion, Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Director Alilo Ensomo, Jr., presented a picture of the economic contribution of the mining industry in the province . It was learned, that the province share of income from the national wealth was actually very minimal compared to the value of the different mineral ores in the world market . From 2003 to 2007, the share of our province only amounted to a little over P36 million from various mineral ores valued at P18.9 billion. These amounts do not even go directly to the province and the LGU’s concerned and up to now still has to trickle down from the national coffers.

“We at the Chamber of Mines are also pushing for the automatic retention of the LGU’s share,” said Mr. Evaristo Narvaez. Jr., President of Pacific Nickel Philippines, Inc. “The share has to be remitted to the LGU’s because they should feel the fruits of the mining industry,” he added.

Gaspar Andres of Taganito Mining Corporation, on the other hand, stressed that they have always been supportive of the development programs of the province by the way of their contributions to the community. “We even supported the direct payment scheme but this has not been carried over despite the agitation of the industry,” Andres declared.

The putting up of processing plants and the transfer of the corporate addresses of the mining companies were also some of the plans that cropped up during the meeting to boosts up efforts to raise employment and increase local taxes in the city and province. The same group agreed to meet again sometime this month for further discussions and follow up on some agreements reached during the meeting.

Also present during the said Fellowship Meeting were 30 president/ CEO’s/ representatives from mining companies operating in the province , all the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan headed by Vice Gov. Noel Catre, Mayor Alfonso S. Casurra, OIC – Provincial Environment and Management Officer Antonieto Charcos, Provincial Accountant Daisy Andit, Provincial Treasurer Daisy Hubilla and Provincial Budget Officer Virginia S. Yuipco. (PEMO)



(from Suyog Newspaper - Official Publication of the Prov. of Surigao del Norte)


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