TUBA, Benguet — Philex Mining Corp. welcomes and supports recommendations for more transparency in the extractive industries made by an international-standard group.

The recommendation includes the online posting of fund releases, strict monitoring of how taxes are spent, disclosure of local-government shares to trace backlogs, and a system to keep tabs of royalties due to indigenous peoples.

“I’ve always said this—that you can look at our records, look at how we do things, and so you could speak for us,” CEO and president, Eulalio Austin, Jr., said, following the release of the third report on the Philippines by the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (Eiti).

“We find reports such as these as the best way for us to show you how we operate,” Austin Jr. added.

Stressing that the Philippine government “gained a firm foothold in furthering transparency in the extractive sector” with the first two country reports, the Norwegian-based non-profit Eiti said its latest report has adopted the same aim and purpose, but also covers reconciliation procedures in tax payments made by companies in the extractive industries.

“While the objectives remain the same, the third PH-Eiti report endeavors to advance the current position of the country in terms of information clarity and transparency; and ensure accessibility of data on revenues from the extractive sector,” the 330-page report, covering the fiscal year 2014 and launched Thursday, May 11, said.

The Multi Stakeholder Group, which puts the report together, recommended certification of tax collections be posted on the website of the concerned agency—Department of Finance, Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), or Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Mines and Geosciences Bureau, or Department of Energy, or the Bureau of Treasury (BTr), which is tasked to directly release local government unit (LGU) shares under the new guidelines.

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) had requested the collecting government agencies to include in the certifications they submit to BTr all the information required by Eiti, following recommendations by the first and second PH-Eiti reports on the “disaggregation of LGU’s share in national wealth according to the different types and sources of payment on a per company basis.”

The Third PH-Eiti Report (FY2013) also recommends, among other things, that the BTr “strictly monitor” LGU compliance on the required submission of fund-utilization reports, a copy of which must be provided as well to the PH-Eiti that the DBM regional offices submit information on LGU shares for earlier years before 2013, when the Eiti first reported on the Philippines, to trace backlogs and the issuance of administrative order requiring companies to take part in the EITI process.

For 2014, Philex Mining led fellow miners in pursuing environmental projects with expenditures of P430.5 million, followed by the Cebu-based Carmen Copper Corp. at P363.6 million, and Taganito Mining Corp., in Surigao del Norte, at P345 million. For social projects in the host and neighboring communities, Philex Mining spent P74.5 million while OceanaGold, which operates the Didipio Mine in Nueva Vizcaya, spent P79.5 million and, Carmen Copper, P41.6 million.

The latest PH-Eiti report said the government collected a total of about P53.33 billion from the extractive industries for 2014, of which P10.88 billion came from mining and P42.4 billion from oil and gas. It added that total variance post-reconciliation amounted to P518.4 million.