Gold smuggling, kakalkalin ng Senado

IIMBESTIGAHAN ng Senado ang talamak na pagpupuslit ng multi-milyong dolyar na ginto na ibinebenta sa black market ng mga small-scale miner na hinihinalang napupunta sa China.

Sa Senate Resolution No. 859, inaatasan ni Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago ang Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources sa pamumuno ni Sen. Francis Escudeero na magsagawa ng imbestigasyon sa pagpupuslit ng ginto upang makalikha ng panukalang batas na susugpo sa naturang illegal na gawain.

Binanggit ni Santiago na base sa gold traders, halos lahat ng produksiyon ng small-scale miners ang nagpupunta sa black market dahil walang buwis na binabayaran.

“It was reported in the media that according to the estimates of government officials and local traders, up to 90 percent of small-scale Philippine gold production is being smuggled out of the country,” ayon kay Santiago.

Sinabi ni Santiago na base sa government data na nakalap ng ilang media report, bumagsak ng 98 porsiyento ang gintong ibinebenta ng small-scale miner at trader sa Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas sa ikalawang yugto ng taon kumpara sa 2011.

“Despite the reported small-scale mining output of $10.4 billion early this year, Reuters reported that gold purchases by the Central Bank dropped an annual 4 percent, 4 percent, 76 percent, and 88 percent in the second, third, and fourth quarters of2011, respectively, and 92 percent in the first quarter of 2012,” aniya.

Tinukoy pa ni Santiago na alinsunod sa   Republic Act No.  7076,  o ang  People’s  Small-scale Mining  Act  of 1991, na nag-uutos na “All gold produced by small-scale miners in any mineral area shall be sold to  the  Central  Bank,  or  its  duly  authorized  representatives,  which  shall  buy  it  at  prices competitive with those prevailing in the world market regardless of volume or weight.”

“Congress to find remedies for this alarming trend of gold smuggling in the country by prioritizing the need to strengthen laws, guidelines of the government concerning the gold trade and mining industry, as well as need to step up the efforts of concerned government agencies in enforcing these existing laws and guidelines,” aniya.

Binanggit pa ni Santiago na bukod sa inutil na pagmamanman ng Bureau of Customs (BoC) laban sa pagpupuslit ng ginto, pangunahing din sa balakid na magbenta ang mga small-scale miners at trader sa BSP ang sinisingil na 2 excise tax at 5 porsiyentong withholding tax na ipinapatas sa bentahan ng ginto sa BSP kaya minabuti nilang magbenta sa black market.

“Congress should also look into the effects of the imposition of excise and withholding taxes on the small-scale gold mining industry and trade, and formulate applicable laws or amendments to existing laws to solve the gold smuggling problem,” giit ni Santiago.

Ipatatawag din ng Senado ang mga opisyal ng BoC at Mines and Geosciences Bureau ng Department of Environment and Natural Resources upang magbigay linaw sa nakakapuslit na ginto na hinihinalang napupunta ang karamihan sa Hong Kong patungong China.

Base sa data ng BSP, ang bansa ang ika=18 sa pinakamalaking gold miner sa buong mundo na nakapagmin ang mahigit isang milyong troy ounce nag into noong 2011 na umabot sa halagang $1.6 bilyon sa kasalukuyang presyo.

“Almost 56 percent of the gold produced in the country is from small-scale miners, according to data from the Bureau of Mines as cited in the report,” ayon kay Santiago.

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