In his July 2017 State of the Nation Address, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said he would tax miners to “death.” In December 2017, he signed Republic Act 10963--Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN)—the first of six packages of a comprehensive program. TRAIN took effect on 1 January.
Under the new tax system, mining companies that extract metallic or non-metallic minerals are now subject to a 4 percent excise tax on the value of their production—double the previous rate. This excise tax is equivalent to what most countries would label a “royalty” on mineral production. What does this 100 percent increase mean for the sector?
Prices of oil and minerals can go really high. A country may benefit given the right fiscal regime. During the boom cycle in the latter half of the previous decade, many resource-rich countries saw their budgets swelling (and their dictators happy). Along with it came their spending as well.
Then the unexpected happened. Prices reached all-time lows since 2011. Resource-dependent countries are now struggling with a fiscal crisis caused by their lack of diversification and prudence in spending in the past.
What can governments do about this? Plan for the long-term.
Hey there! I'm Marco from the Philippines. I write mostly about natural resource governance, open data, and good governance.