A BILL exempting small-scale miners from tax on gold sales to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has hurdled second reading at the House of Representatives.
The chamber, via voice voting, approved House Bill 3297, which will grant an income and excise tax exemption to registered small-scale miners and accredited traders on gold sales to the central bank.
“We are encouraging our small-scale miners to sell their gold to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas,” Ways and Means Committee chair Estrellita B. Suansing of the first district of Nueva Ecija said during interpellation Wednesday night.
“The objective of Bangko Sentral gold purchases is to raise international reserves, which have fallen,” Ms. Suansing added.
Representative Evelina G. Escudero of the first district of Sorsogon said in the explanatory note of the bill that imposing taxes on these transactions has led to a “drastic” drop in the volume of gold sold to BSP.
According to Ms. Escudero, the BSP has been deducting the 2% excise tax and 5% creditable withholding tax on gold purchases since 2011.
“Compared to BSP’s total gold purchases in 2010 of 918,110 troy ounces, purchases decreased by 98% to 20,354 troy ounces in 2014,” she added, citing data from the Regional Monetary Affairs office. — Charmaine A. Tadalan