Alcoy mineral processing firm denies violating tax laws in Cebu

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - CDN Digital Multi-Media Reporter | March 01,2023 - 04:07 PM

Alcoy fishermen

Jerry Dueñas, a fisherman from Alcoy, Cebu, looks at the conveyor belt that juts out of a mineral-processing plant in Barangay Pugalo. Dueñas said despite the controversies involving their town’s dolomite rocks, it has not severely impacted their source of livelihood. CDN Digital Photo 2020 | Morexette Marie Erram

CEBU CITY, Philippines – A mining processing firm based in Alcoy town in southern Cebu denied accusations that they have not paid taxes to the provincial government.

The Philippine Mining Service Corporation (PMSC), in a statement issued on March 1, asserted that they have not broken any laws after the Capitol ordered them to stop their operations last February.

“It is highly regretful that Philippine Mining Service Corporation (PMSC) was issued the Executive Order directing it to cease and desist from processing, selling, and transporting dolomite due to its alleged violation of local tax laws and regulations and environmental laws,” portions of the statement read. 

A copy of PMSC’s full statement was published on its official website. 

PMSC is referring to Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia’s EO No. 7 which reinstated the Capitol’s orders in 2020 for PMSC to halt its operations as an offshoot of the controversial Manila Bay white-sand beach. 

It can be recalled that two years ago when officials confirmed that dolomite used in creating the artificial white-sand beach in Manila Bay came from Alcoy, Cebu, the province launched an investigation.

As a result, they demanded the two mining firms – PMSC and Dolomite Mining Corp. – to comply with existing environmental and tax laws. They also told the two firms to suspend their operations for the duration of the probe.

PMSC, for their part, said they received the tax assessments the Capitol gave them in 2020 but contested the latter’s findings. The company said they took the matter to the court, where it is still being heard. 

They also disclosed that they managed to secure a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) after the province issued a Notice of Levy and auction sale of their properties last January. 

“PMSC filed an extremely urgent motion for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and an application for a writ of preliminary injunction since as far as it is concerned, PMSC is not and cannot be legally considered as delinquent under the law as the tax assessments were duly and timely protested and are still pending with the RTC (Regional Trial Court),” explained PMSC.

The firm also dismissed claims from the Capitol that they continue to violate environmental laws after the national government allowed them to resume operations in 2020.

“It must be stressed that the lifting of the suspension order was made only after a thorough investigation was made by a team from the DENR-7 through the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO-DENR) Cebu, Environmental Management Bureau-7 (EMB-7), Regional Office No. VII, and the Mines & Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Regional Office No. VII. Moreover, PMSC has been consistently monitored by the Multi-Partite Monitoring Team (MMT) with respect to its compliance with the lifting order,” they added. 

The Capitol demanded PMSC to pay taxes worth 10 percent of the local fair market value per cubic meter of all ordinary stones, sand, gravel, earth, and other quarry resources they sourced in the territorial jurisdiction of the Province of Cebu. Otherwise, they may face legal action. 


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TAGS: Alcoy, Cebu‬, Cebu Daily News, cebu news, Cebu province, Cebu Provincial Government, dolomite, mining

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