DAVAO CITY – The environmental council here plans to use environmental tax collection for programs and projects that would contribute to watershed protection.
The environmental tax is collected from companies which has more than 50 hectares. The companies have to pay 25 centavos per square meter.
Chinkie Peliño-Golle of the Watershed Management Council said that they will develop guidelines for the utilization of the collected tax.
“The use can be any watershed management project which will be identified by the local government unit,” she said.
Since its implementation on 2014, the environmental tax as already reached up to P43 million, according to WMC. Companies are required to pay upon their renewal of permits.
Of the P43 million, P40 million “is pending for utilization for the plantations paid under protest filed at the Court of Tax Appeals,” Golle said.
The P3.1 million, however, “has to be requested from the local finance committee for utilization,” she added.
WMC’s concern is also that the tax collected will be under the general funding of the local government unit of the city. Golle said they wanted it to be transferred to trust fund.
The General Fund are funds that are used for general operations and activities, unlike trust funds which are used for specific programs and purposes.
Meanwhile, Interface Development Interventions (IDIS) Inc. Executive Director Mary Ann Fuertes said that Davao City has eight watersheds which ads mostly located in the third district here.
Fuertes said that the environmental tax collection is intended to protect the conservation of the watershed. (davaotoday.com)