The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Palawan Revenue District Office (RDO) has recorded a P3-billion collection in 2020, exceeding its goal allocation target for the year by 9.5 percent.

RDO No. 36 Palawan collected a total of P3. 087 billion in 2020, with the bulk of the revenue coming from the construction sector, quarrying, and excise taxes, and even with tourism receipts not factoring in the collection performance due to the lockdown.

Assistant revenue district officer John Rainier Camba said the main factor that allowed them to exceed their 2020 target was the decision to reduce the goal allocation from the original figure of P4.365 billion to P2. 820 billion goal allocation for Palawan.

“Unang-una kasi binaba ‘yong goal allocation kasi sinundan natin ang galaw dahil sa pandemic. Dahan-dahan nilang ibinaba, ‘yong mga economist ay dinouble check nila ‘yong kakayahan ng tax payer na magbayad. Nag-check din sila ng mga bukas na establishments. Binaba nang binaba hangang naging 2.8 [billion] ‘yong naging target ng Puerto Princesa [and Palawan],” Camba said. “Kung hindi ibinaba ang collection target natin, bagsak na bagsak tayo,” he added.

BIR-Palawan has now collected P452,382,926.67 for the month of January, which is 53.16 percent above the P295,350,000 and is now aiming to hit P3,262, 276,000 goal for the whole year collection.

He added that the bureau could only analyze the capacity of tax payers in paying their tax obligations last year on April 15, which is the due date for the 2020 Income Tax Return (ITR).

“Ang deadline kasi ng ITR is April 15 so machi-check natin, ano ba ang nangyari nong 2020 by April 15, 2021, doon pa lang natin machi-check talaga kung ano ba yong actual na kakayahan ng tax payer kung tumaas ba siya, bumaba or doon lang siya sa mid,” he said.

“Positive naman kami dahil nag-o-open na nga ‘yong economy natin dito so hoping na tuloy-tuloy, although ‘yong actual ay sa April 15. Positive pa rin naman ang BIR na tuloy-tuloy ‘yong progress natin dito sa city and whole province, na mag-open ‘yong tourism, ‘yong construction naman ay dire-diretso,” he said.

After previously leading other towns with highest tax revenues in municipal level, Coron and El Nido have slid down to the middle due to the poor performance of the tourism industry, he said.

Tax mapping

The local revenue district office admitted that the pandemic has affected its monitoring and tax mapping on establishments province-wide. Over 1,400 taxpayers were supposed to be tax mapped in 2020 but due to movement restrictions, BIR Palawan recorded only about 90 percent accomplishment last year.

“Noong 2020 ay wala tayong napasara dahil from March to December ay restricted ang kilos ng tao so wala tayong masyadong tax mapping na nangyari. Nagka-tax mapping noong September, October, November na kakaunti lang ang na-tax map. Na-check lang kung compliant ang mga tax payer dito sa Palawan,” he said.

This year, BIR started the tax mapping in month of February within Puerto Princesa and aims to cover more than 600 tax payers until March 13.

“Ang target namin hanggang March 13 is 600 plus na tax payers, sana matapos kasi ‘yong ibang na target namin ay mga sarado. Next na target namin ay after April 15 na pwede na kaming lumabas sa ibang munisipyo,” he said.

“Iyong 600 na ‘yon ay galing sa national office na pangalan, ichi-check namin kung open pa ba sila pero mangilan-ilan doon na hindi naman sarado pero literal na sarado doon sa establishment so hindi ma-check [pero] noong tiningnan naman sa database ay open, operational pa rin pero hindi talaga natin ma-check kung ano ba talaga ang nangyari na sa kanila,” he said.

He also stated that they will observe the situation of cases and opening of businesses to see when they could go to other towns to conduct tax mapping after March 13.

“Halimbawa sa Coron baka hindi muna kami mag-Coron. Sayang lang din ang pagpunta kasi more of sarado pa ang establishments doon. Sa El Nido ay nag-50-50 pa kami kasi hindi pa sila 100 percent na operational so baka Bataraza o kaya Taytay. Check muna namin kung saan kami makakarami ng mata-tax map,” he said.