by Myrna M. Velasco
The royalty share turned over to the government by Semirara Mining and Power Corporation (SMPC) already reached P2.65 billion as of end last year, roughly 47-percent higher from P1.8 billion in 2015.
According to the company, of the amount already remitted to the Department of Energy (DOE), about P1.0 billion had been funneled to project-host local government units (LGUs), as prescribed by rules.
SMPC explained that it operates within the dictum of 20-percent; 45-percent and 30-percent sharing between the provinces of Antique, municipality of Caluya and Barangay Semirara, respectively.
The Consunji group operates the Semirara coal mining venture which partly supplies the requirements of various coal-fired power plants in the country.
Victor Consunji, president and chief operating officer of SMPC, noted that the company’s royalty remittance to the government would be able to “generate growth that redounds to our host province, municipality and community.”
As prescribed by governing law, local government units are entitled to a 40-percent share of royalty proceeds for indigenous and renewable energy (RE) resources – including petroleum, coal, geothermal, hydrothermal, and wind resources.
SMPC indicated that based on a report of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) in 2015, royalty turnover of the company accounts for 83-percent of the P2.2 billion collections from energy resource and production.
It stressed that Western Visayas which is Semirara Mining’s host region had cornered the lion’s share of about P725 million.
The company further noted that since DMCI Holdings bought into Semirara Mining in 1997, the cumulative royalty remittance to government already topped P13.5 billion.