Citinickel Mines and Development Corporation’s (CMDC) recent payment of around P28-million in local business taxes to the Sofronio Española government unit will benefit the town’s residents amidst the COVID-19 crisis.

CMDC has a mineral production sharing agreement (MPSA) covering around 1,408 hectares of land in the town as its contracted area.

According to CMDC community relations head and assistant manager Pamela Miguel, the company hopes that its payment to the municipal government Sofronio Española will help fund projects, development plans, and post-COVID recovery initiatives.

Aerial footage of CMDC’s siltation ponds in Sofronio Espanola. (Photo courtesy of CMDC)

Miguel said this is in line with the CMDC’s commitment to benefit the Philippine economy and the operations of local government units (LGUs).

“Ang present administration ay talagang kino-consider supporting the mining industry to be one of the key drivers of post-COVID recovery at ng economy ng bansa. It is really happening, sa Española, nakakapag-generate [ang LGU] ng local income doon [sa mining],” Miguel said in a phone interview on Monday, January 31.

Aside from the two percent business tax, deducted from CMDC’s 2021 gross sales amounting to roughly P1.48 billion, the company also settled its mayor’s permit and fire inspection fees with the town. This brought its total contribution for 2021 to around P30 million.

CMDC also settled an estimated P32 million business taxes for 2021 to the town of Narra. Despite the company’s conflicted relationship with Narra mayor Gerandy Danao, Miguel said the matter has been rendered moot and academic since they have reportedly already settled all obligations with the LGU.

“Last year (2021), nabigyan kami ng mayor’s permit. 2020, noong nakaupo si Mayor Danao, hindi niya talaga kami nabigyan ng mayor’s permit doon. Pero that was moot and academic kasi nakapagbayad kami noong January 14 or 15, 2020. Less than P3 million lang ‘yon, kasi konti lang ang shipments namin noong 2019,” Miguel said.

Back in November 2021, the company addressed Danao’s claims of alleged P94 million unpaid municipal taxes in a statement. The company stated that as a registered company of the Board of Investments (BOI), they are exempted from paying municipal taxes beginning from their founding year (2011) to four years after (2015), also pursuant to the Narra Municipal Tax Code at the time.

CMDC also filed a case with the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) against Danao due to the latter’s non-issuance of a mayor’s permit, despite their payments to the Narra LGU.

Aside from the two per cent business tax and other municipal fees, CMDC also paid a total of P64,306,558.82 excise tax in 2021 for its operations in Narra, wherein P25.7-million went to the municipal, barangay and provincial LGUs. Likewise, the company also paid a total of P57,925,597.24 excise tax in the same year to the LGU of Sofronio Española, with around P23-million share for the municipal, barangay & provincial LGUs.

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is a senior reporter for Palawan News who covers politics, education, environment, tourism, and human interest stories. She loves watching Netflix, reading literary fiction, and listens to serial fiction podcasts. Her favorite color is blue.