MANILA –Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said it is the municipalities, not the national government, that would be greatly affected by loss of tax revenues from closure of mining companies.
He said some municipalities earn only from taxes being paid by mining companies operating in their areas.
Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Gina Lopez has ordered the closure of about 23 mining companies around the country, citing various violations.
Dominguez said initial check pegs the loss from the closure to be around Php 653 million.
”It’s gonna hurt that we’re not going to get mining revenue but it’s not going to be very fatal. In some municipalities, it’s the only income they have,” he said.
Dominguez, co-chair of the inter-agency Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC), said members of the Cabinet were now formulating emergency measures to address the closure’s impact on affected workers.
He said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), among others, was collating the number of affected workers and the Department of Labor (DOLE) was considering the creation of jobs for this purpose.
He also said that it was not only the mining companies’ employees who would be affected but also those who provide secondary services such as workers of companies providing supplies like boots and helmets as well as small store owners around the mines.
He said the proposal to make the mines as eco-tourism destinations to provide alternative jobs to people would take some time and the necessary infrastructure.
“I am sure that at some point in it will be viable. But how do you make eco-tourism if you cannot get there because there is no road? That there’s no pier? That there is no airport? We have to build those infrastructure to make sure that it’s a viable place to visit,” he said.
”It’s a question of timing as well,” he added.