(PN File photo)

The revenue district office (RDO) of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) collected P3.5 billion in revenue in 2021, 5.45% more than the year’s target.

A total of P3,513,156,317.85 was collected from the aim of P3,331,475,000 in 2021 by RDO No. 36 Palawan, with the bulk of the revenue coming from the construction and quarrying industries, both of which contributed significantly to the collection in 2020. The collection in excess is P181,681, 317.85.

According to revenue district officer Jose Luna, construction, government contributions, income tax, and money-sending transactions during the pandemic contributed to the 2021 collection.

A P2.43 trillion collection goal has been set by the Bureau for 2022, although the Palawan branch has yet to be included in that total.

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“Actually, nag-down kami sa excise. The reason for that, previously, meron kaming assisted na we check on the contractors on their payments. May clearance sila before they can be paid, final payment at least certificate ngayon nawala ‘yon, tinanggal because of ease of doing business. Tinanggal, we are not able to check sa excise kaya short kami sa excise. Pero all others, income tax percentage, one-time transactions, real state transactions, up kami lahat,” he said.

The towns of Narra, Roxas, Coron, and Cuyo follow closely behind Puerto Princesa in terms of revenue, according to the district’s summary of receipts.

Luna reported that the Tax Compliance Verification Drive (TCVD) carried out by BIR Palawan has verified the tax compliance of over a thousand businesses in the province. Due to constraints imposed by the pandemic and TCVD, the bureau is unable to visit Busuanga and Coron.

“Karamihan kasi diyan ay government contribution, national government agencies tapos ‘yong LGUs kasi withholding ‘yan from them, ‘yon tumaas din siya. Income tax and one of the pillars talaga na without them, hindi kami maka(hit) ay ‘yong Palawan (Pawnshop), due to pandemic, medyo malakas ‘yong pera padala, one of the biggest contributors sa collection,” he added.

“Hindi namin ma-check, matagal nang open ang Busuanga and Coron for tourists. Hindi namin nachi-check ‘yon, ‘yong hotels and establishments registered to us, hindi namin ma-audit, hindi namin mapuntahan,” he said.

The bureau intends to focus on the mainland of Palawan in tax mapping, avoiding the island communities in the meantime because of the pandemic.

Odette impact on collection
Even though payments would be delayed as a result of Odette’s impact on the affected areas, Luna believes that it will be able to enhance collection from its primary contributors, such as construction, for the rehabilitation projects.

“Yong December nga namin talaga bumaba, hindi kami kumuha ng December na goal, medyo maliit, bumaba ang payments sa affected areas. Na-push ‘yong payments, kasi they are allowed 30 days after, lahat ng tax payers noon, kunyare ang January payments pwede February. All affected ay may palugit—syempre ang collection namin ay madi-delay,” he said.

BIR hopes to see an increase in collection for the 2021 tax year in April. The absence of economic activity in Palawan, according to Luna, could be one of the obstacles to reaching the year’s goal.

“Iyan ang hindrance (lack of) economic activity kasi kung mag-increase ang economic activity, nakikita ko marami na rin dumarating na mga foreigner,” Luna said.

“We have seen the worst—positive na lang. Given that this is an election year—meron economic activity for recovery (after Odette)—we have nowhere to go but up,” chief assessment section Atty. Alexander Tolentino added.

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.