Media Release | SMI Obtains 2023 Business Permit
02 August 2023
SMI Obtains 2023 Business Permit
The following statement is to be attributed to SMI External Affairs and Communications Manager Roy D. Antonio (RAntonio@smi.com.ph; +63 920 950-9231):
Tampakan, South Cotabato – Sagittarius Mines, Inc. (SMI) has obtained its 2023 business permit from the Municipality of Tampakan after a legal battle which saw the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) granting a preliminary injunction in favor of the company after being incorrectly assessed by the LGU for almost PhP400 million in alleged deficient taxes.
At the same time, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (Provincial Board) of South Cotabato declared as ultra vires and onerous the numerous provisions of Tampakan’s Revised Municipal Revenue Code of 2022 that would have imposed new or increased business taxes on companies operating in Tampakan and cautioned the LGU “to stop the enforcement of the provisions of the ordinance declared invalid….”
SMI’s 2023 business permit was finally issued after it paid PhP 24,579 in regulatory and other fees, a stark contrast to the LGU’s incorrect assessment.
SMI’s Legal and Compliance Manager, Atty. Stella Joy Segocio, welcomed this development and highlighted the CTA’s initial findings that SMI did not employ “fraud and misrepresentation” when it applied for a business permit as a manufacturer. “SMI has and will always comply with the law and will continue to do the right thing in all of its activities,” she added.
On various occasions, the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has identified mining as a strategic investment and a “key driver in our recovery and long-term growth.” It is in this light that SMI has progressed the Tampakan Project to a point where it is ready to start construction and to operate.
It also continues to invest in the development of its stakeholders and host communities, in addition to honoring and respecting the rights of the Blaan Indigenous Peoples in the area. This year, it has provided more than PhP 24 million in social investment projects such as high school and college scholarships, establishment of health centers and health programs, provision of water sources, emergency response, and livelihood assistance.