By Junex Doronio
October 9, 2021
LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu – Who says the Philippines is a poor country?
No less than the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said as early as last year that it would shift to active gold trading amid rising prices of gold, which is considered a safe-haven asset during crises.
The BSP is now prodding small-scale miners to sell more gold to the country’s central bank by offering them tax exemptions.
“We’re looking at making our rates more attractive to small-scale miners,” Joseph Norbert S. David, director of the BSP Mint and Refinery Operations Department told an online lecture on Friday.
He said much of the gold output comes from Baguio and Davao.
“We’re also looking at minimizing the processing costs,” the BSP official said.
David disclosed that gold sellers get 99% in advance payment.
He further bared that the remaining 1% “retention money” is settled once they complete the assaying of the gold.
David said he BSP is now considering increasing the advanced payment further and might also fast-track processing of payments to attract more small miners.
The BSP’s gold holdings stood at $9.148 billion as of end-August, 0.7% higher than in July but 24% lower year on year.
It was learned that a 2019 law exempted small-scale miners and traders from paying tax for gold sold to the BSP to strengthen the country’s foreign exchange buffers.
According to the latest BSP data, the gross international reserves rose by 0.7% to $107.96 billion as of end-August from a month earlier. (ai/mtvn)