Local governments hosting mineral mining and energy development activities in their areas stand to receive P12.8 billion as their combined share of the national treasury’s income from the commercial utilization of the country’s natural resources, Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel said on Sunday.
“The P12.8 billion has been appropriated in the 2024 national budget that the House of Representatives recently approved on the third and final reading,” Pimentel said.
“The amount is 27 percent greater than the P10.1 billion that provincial, city, municipal and barangay governments are getting this year as their ‘national wealth use’ share,” Pimentel said.
“The money will enable local governments to pursue new projects that will create additional employment and livelihood opportunities for their communities,” Pimentel said.
Under the Local Government Code of 1991, local governments are entitled to 40 percent of the national treasury’s gross earnings from mining taxes, royalties from mineral reservations, forestry charges, and fees and revenues from energy resources generated from their areas.
Under the law, the share is allocated as follows: 20 percent to the province; 45 percent to the component city or municipality; and 35 percent to the barangay.
In cases of highly urbanized or independent component cities, 65 percent goes to the city and 35 percent to the barangay.
Under the law, local government must appropriate the funds to bankroll local development and livelihood projects.
As to local governments obtaining their shares from the extraction of hydrothermal, geothermal and other energy assets, at least 80 percent of the money must be spent to lower electricity prices in the communities that supplied the resources.
A total of 39 mining companies operating around the country produced nearly $2 billion (P112.7 billion) worth of metallic minerals from January to June this year, up almost 40 percent compared to the output in same semester in 2022, according to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB).
The MGB attributed the huge increase in production value to the strong prices of nickel, gold and copper.
Nickel accounted for P51.32 billion of the value produced. Gold and copper accounted for P46.44 billion and P12.84 billion, respectively, while the combined output of silver, chromite and iron ore reached P2.07 billion.
Pimentel’s home province of Surigao del Sur is a producer of nickel, along with the provinces of Surigao del Norte, Agusan del Norte, Palawan, and Zambales.
Some 68 percent of the world’s nickel output is used in stainless steel.