TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines– The OceanaGold Philippines Inc. (OGPI) mining in Nueva Vizcaya is confident that it would pass the mining audit conducted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
In a message to Forum, OceanaGold communications and external affairs chief Ramoncito Gozar said said they are “looking forward for a positive response from the agency, the company is confident of its track record as a responsible operator.”
The company made the statement after the continuous statements of Nueva Vizcaya Governor Carlos Padilla against the mining operations in the province, saying that he is “absolutely” against mining.
The company also remained firm that the government has no reason to withdraw its exploration permit at the Didipio Mine. “We hope to explore more in the Philippines and we are working closely if we can explore tenements in Surigao,” OceanaGold Philippines Chairman Jose P. Leviste said
OceanaGold said it has practices “responsible mining” over the years just as what the government, particularly DENR Secretary Gina Lopez, has been calling out from mining companies in the country.
“Hence, the company will continue to operate safely while seeking to unlock organic growth potential of its assets. As ever, OceanaGold is strongly committed to working with all of its stakeholders to deliver meaningful benefits to communities and superior returns to shareholders, as the company have done so in the last several years,” Gozar added.
Billions of taxes paid
From its start of operations in 2013 and until the end of 2015, OceanaGold said it has paid over P2.62 billion for taxes, fees and charges.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) awarded them the top taxpayer on Nueva Vizcaya.
“There are also the taxes from the numerous businesses generated by the mining operations, from contractors, suppliers and other service providers. One of OGPI’s major contractors is the Didipio Community Development Corporation, a community corporation of the host barangay, who have been awarded with the long-term contracts at the mine,” Gozar said.
Gozar also said that in 2016 alone, 3 municipalities of the 2 provinces shared around PHP170.4 Million of local business taxes.
“The contribution of the Didipio Project should not only be measured by the taxes and payments remitted to government but also in the social investment made to the host and 10 neighboring communities of the mine,” Gozar said, adding that a total of PHP443.8 Million has been spent on social community development projects from 2013 to 2015 for both Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino. Raymon Dullana/TNF