DESPITE the impact of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) on businesses and tax reliefs to cushion this, Davao City has achieved high revenue collection in the first half of the year.
In a statement, City Treasurer's Office (CTO) head, lawyer Lawrence Bantiding, said the city gained a total of P6.12 billion as of June 2020.
This is 10.68 percent higher from the collection of P5.53 billion of the same period last year.
"The increase in the collection is attributed to our stable tax collection. Aside from that, the bulk of collections that we collected were from the Business Permit renewal last January," he said.
But he said collection of other types of taxes has decreased.
"CTO noted a decrease in amusement tax collection due to the closure of cinemas and cancellation of events in Davao City due to the movement restrictions and health measures since the lockdown period in March," he said.
"There is also a decrease in transportation system fees due to the non-operation of DCOTT (Davao City Overland Transport Terminal) during the period of Community Quarantine and Enhanced Community Quarantine," he added.
In a virtual presser on Friday, July 17, DCOTT manager Aisa Usop said the terminal collected only P15 million as of June this year.
She said this is lower than the roughly P70 million revenue gained in the same period last year and the highest collection so far. The monthly income of the DCOTT before the pandemic usually ranges from P5 million above.
Usop attributed the decline in revenues to the limited bus trips.
Currently, DCOTT operates 62 bus trips per day with only about 1,000 passengers because only 50 percent capacity in buses is allowed.
This is far from the 650 to 700 bus trips before Covid-19 health crisis which is equivalent to 35,000 to 45,000 passengers per day.
"Bisan ang 10 percent sa passengers wala pa gyud nato ma-abot (We have not reached even 10 percent of the usual number of passengers)," she said.
The City Economic Enterprise also noted a 20 percent decrease in the collection of rental fees due to the waiver of rental fees as per Ordinance 0278-20.
Bantiding said intensified inspection operations of the revenue-generating offices will help the city achieve its 2020 tax collection target of P10.3 billion at the end of the year.
"For example, the Business Bureau, they must ensure that those who are conducting business must have a permit. For the Office of the City Building Official, they must ensure that all constructions have secured a building permit. All revenue generating offices should intensify their inspection to ensure that all those who need permits from the city should have gotten one and that should translate an additional income for the city," he said.
"Based on our collection as of June, more or less we have reached more than 50 per cent of our target collection so we are hoping that we still reach the target even with the pandemic we are experiencing now," he added.
The CTO is also optimistic of hitting the target even with the several relief it offered to the taxpayers such as the three-month extension of the payment of the third quarterly installment of Real Property Tax (RPT), tax amnesty or relief to delinquent RPT payers and providing for relief to mitigate the adverse economic effects of coronavirus pandemic. (With CIO)