PH-EITI: Adjusted Figures for Extractive Industry Contribution to PH Coffers Now P52 Billion
Following its announcement of the results of its 18-month study of the money flow between government and the extractive industries, in which the participant oil, gas and metallic mining companies were credited with contributing P35.2 billion to Philippine revenues, the Philippine Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (PH-EITI) now adjusts its announced figures to P52.7 billion.
The adjusted figures come after further scrutiny by PH-EITI’s multi-stakeholder group of the accounting policies of both the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Department of Energy (DoE). Up until a procedural change in 2012, oil and gas corporations engaged in petroleum and natural gas extraction remitted corporate income tax as part of government share to the DoE. As such, an amount of P17 billion was initially thought of as a repeat declaration. A subsequent trace of the amount by DoE and the PH-EITI Independent Administrator, Isla Lipana & Co., proved that the amount was not a matter of double-counting, but was, in fact, an actual and separate BIR payment from oil and gas companies. As such, PH-EITI is adjusting the under-declared amount of oil and gas contributions to P46.5 billion from the original figure of P29.01 billion.
Representing the Philippine Petroleum Association of the Upstream Industry (Oil & Gas), Inc. (PAP), their President, Sebastian C. Quinones, Jr, (also Managing Director of Shell Philippines Exploration BV), says of the adjustment, “It is an important part of our thrust for transparency that the correct data on the revenues of government from the upstream oil and gas industry be disseminated to the public at the soonest possible time. We also hope this will avert more inconsistencies about information released to other government branches, such as the Senate, Congress, and of course, DOE and BIR.”
Regarding the recent adjustments in the Country Report, which is due to be submitted to the EITI International Board before December 31, 2014, Department of Finance Assistant Secretary Ma. Teresa Habitan, PH-EITI Focal Person, said, “I view this as part of our learning curve, and highlights the best reason why we need EITI in the country. We get a lot of data from all sources, but unless this is properly processed and compiled, it can often lead to a lot of confusion and unintentional misimpressions.”