Koronadal City, South Cotabato. The pandemic has adversely affected the tax revenues generated by the four (4) provinces and five (5) cities of the region for the first semester of 2020 as shown by its sharp decline compared to the 2019 collection. Director Jeany T. Tedera of the Bureau of Local Government and Finance XII shared this information on August 14, 2020 during the 8th RTF XII on COVID-19 Economy Response Cluster virtual meeting.

“The revenue sources of the LGUs in Region XII are from the Real Property Tax (RPT), Business Tax, Fees and Charges, and Economic Enterprises”, RD Tedera said. In the first semester of 2019, the collection was posted at PhP 2,747.67 Billion but the pandemic has adversely affected the 2020 collection efficiency.  The LGUs had only collected PhP 2,608.67 billion as of June 30, 2020, which posted a difference of about 5.05% as compared with the collection in the same period of 2019.

“The region wide collections on real property tax (RPT), local fees and charges, and economic enterprises decreased by 24.65%, 5.43%, and 15.39%, respectively. On the brighter side,   “business tax collection posted an increase of 16.42% amidst the pandemic,” RD Tedera added.

The reduction in the collection of taxes, fees and charges for this semester was due to the  mandatory non-extension of deadlines; non-application of interest, surcharges, and other penalty on local taxes due; and suspension of warrant of levy and auction of delinquent properties as embodied in the DOF Memorandum Circular 010-2020.

As of June 30, 2020, 63.02% of the assigned Business Tax targets for the period was already collected. Tacurong City topped the collection with 78.11%, followed by the provinces of Sarangani and Sultan Kudarat, which collected 69.27% and 69.09% of their assigned targets, respectively, narrated RD Tedera.

In addition, RD Tedera said the RPT total collection for the period was posted at 33.73% of the assigned target. The cities of Koronadal and General Santos registered the highest collection rate of 65.77% and 54.77%, respectively.

With regard to fees and charges, Sarangani Province topped the collection at 69.92% of its target, followed by Tacurong City (67.13%) and Cotabato City at 66.67%, he said.

Moreover, RD Tedera recounted that only 30.31% of the assigned target for economic enterprises was collected by the LGUs, as of June 2020.

“A total of PhP 843.40 million or about 23.93% was the recorded unrealized revenue of the LGUs in Region XII, which may affect the delivery services especially during this pandemic,” he added. Finally, RD Tedera enjoined the LGUs to launch/introduce online payment of taxes to increase the collections and improve their efficiency under the new normal condition.  The BLGF XII RD further requested DTI XII to assist the LGUs in enhancing its revenue generating capacity/sources particularly its public economic enterprises initiatives. (Gwyneth Grace B. Collado, NEDA XIIPFPD)