South Cotabato was Soccsksargen Region’s top earner of mineral revenue in 2011, according to a report from the Mines and Geoscience Bureau – 12.
MGB-12’s report, a copy of which was emailed to the Philippine Information Agency – 12 yesterday, showed that South Cotabato earned P9,754,648.25 from mine-related revenues and fees.
Marilyn Dicierto, MGB-12’s acting information officer said, South Cotabato’s earnings comprised 48 percent of the entire region’s income of P20,359,944.12.
Most of the province’s income, she said, came from fees for sand and gravel quarry operations.
Dicierto attributed this to the provinces’s “effective monitoring system, thus contributing to the region’s economy.”
In the same period, Sarangani collected a total of P4,137,727.73 while North Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat provinces earned P3,225,736.62 and P1,894,530.38, respectively. General Santos City earned P1,347,301.14.
Dicierto also reported that in addition to the provincial and city government's income, MGB’s regional office also collected P831,432.09 from fees for mining rights, application, registration, permit, certifications, and others.
South Cotabato’s Provincial Information Office earlier reported that the provincial government earned P5.8 milliion from quarry operations and P3.5 million from mining fees last year. This was almost P3 million higher than the province’s P6.6 million income in 2010.
Increase in province’s mining revenue came after Gov. Arthur Y. Pingoy Jr. ordered a crackdown of illegal mining operators that resulted in closure of more than 300 small-scale mining tunnels operating without permit in gold-rich T’boli town.
The crackdown was pursuant to provincial Ordinance No. 7, series of 2003, known as "An ordinance levying taxes, fees, charges and other impositions on small-scale mining, mineral processing operations, and transporting of mineral ores within the province of South Cotabato and providing the rules and regulations thereof."
Some of these tunnels were later allowed to re-open after their operators have secured permits and paid the necessary obligations.
To heighten the province’s campaign against illegal mining and non-payment of required fees, the Provincial Environment and Management Office led by acting chief Engr. Siegfred Flaviano established checkpoints in several locations in T’boli town, which resulted in confiscation of at last 85 sacks of illegal extracted gold ore.
In January, the PEMO has stopped issuance of special permits to quarry operators, often the reason of irregular payment of required fees and proliferation illegal quarry extraction activities.
Flaviano said, with this massive campaign against illegal mining and ball mill operators they could reach their revenue target of P30 million in 2012. (DEDoguiles/PIA 12)