Collections of the Bureau of Internal Revenue and Bureau of Customs in the first four months declined compared with the same period last year, pulled down mainly by the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.
Data from the Department of Finance on Wednesday showed total collections of the BIR from Jan. 1 to April 30 this year dropped further to P527.41 billion, P179.37 billion or 25 percent below what it collected year-on-year, as a result of the community quarantine measures in Luzon and other parts of the country. The lockdown also prompted the agency to extend the deadlines for the filing and payment of income and other taxes to next month.
The actual BIR collections from Jan. 1 to April 30 are short of P1.02 billion or 0.2 percent of the target of P528.44 billion for the period.
Preliminary data from the Bureau of Customs, meanwhile, show actual collections dipping further to P179.44 billion from Jan. 1 to April 30, P14.11 billion or 7.3 percent lower than P193.55 billion collected in the same period last year.
The Jan. 1-April 30 collection of the BOC was also P27.15 billion or 13.1 percent short of the target of P206.59 billion for the four-month period.
Collections of both the BIR and BOC from Jan. 1 to April 30 reached P706.85 billion, or P28.17 billion short of the target of P735.03 billion for the period.
The combined collections were lower P193.48 billion lower than P900.33 billion in the same period last year.
The BIR, which accounts for 78 percent of the state’s tax collection capacity, reported collections of P71.78 billion in the April 1-30 period. Compared with the April 2019 actual collection of P237.93 billion, the amount collected for April was 69.8 percent short.
BOC collections from April 1 to 30 amounted to P33.97 billion, which are P17.71 billion or 34.3 percent below the take of P51.67 billion in the same period last year.
They were also P22.57 billion or 40 percent lower than the April 1-30 target of P56.54 billion.
For April 1 to 30, the combined BOC and BIR collections totaled just P105.75 billion, or P183.85 billion lower than P289.6 billion collected in the same period last year.
They were also P25.25 billion lower than the combined BIR and BOC target of P131 billion for that period.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III earlier assured the Filipino people that even with the significant decline in revenue collections of the two agencies, the country remained “financially able” to meet the unexpected challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. President Rodrigo Duterte, he said, ordered economic managers since the beginning of his administration in 2016 to maintain fiscal discipline and exercise prudence in state spending.
As result of the conservative fiscal policies, Dominguez said the government had rolled out a four-pillar socioeconomic strategy to defeat COVID-19, which would involve budgetary, fiscal and monetary measures with a combined value of P1.74 trillion, or around 9.1 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.