Philex, Benguet officials still in talks over P2.2-B taxes

Posted at 02/28/2014 6:27 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Pangilinan-led Philex Mining and officials of Itogon and Tuba in Benguet have been meeting to resolve some P2.2 billion in back taxes the municipalities want to collect from the miner.

Itogon and Tuba has said they would give Philex until March to comply, threatening to enforce a notice of closure on the company's Padcal mine, which lies on the border of Itogon and Tuba.

Philex said it will gladly pay the taxes, but the municipalities must first settle a border dispute which directly affects the taxes Philex would have to pay.

Itogon and Tuba have countered, saying they agreed to split the tax revenue 50-50.

Philex SVP Mike Toledo said the parties are still discussing if the P2.2 billion in taxes is the correct amount.

“We are not running away from obligations but we have to make sure we pay to the right entity as well as the payment is to the right assessment and in compliance with the law,” he told ANC on Friday.

Toledo added that the mining firm is confident that there will be a settlement before the deadline lapses.

“Bottomline is the talks have been cordial and very constructive and we feel that there is going to be a positive closure to this issue. Philex is one of the top taxpayers in the country, it has always been complying with all its obligations under the law as far as paying of taxes is concerned,” he said.