People falling in line to settle various fees at the City Treasury Office. (Photo courtesy of Thess Rodriguez)

The Puerto Princesa City Treasury Office is aiming to collect an estimated P718.8-million from the city government’s revenue sources in 2022.

The four main sources of the city government are real property taxes (RPT), business taxes, fees and charges, and economic enterprises.

According to treasury head Ma. Corazon Abayari, the amount was set to roughly match 2021’s actual revenue collection, which totaled at P750,551,052.51. She added that the amount was also a conservative estimate, as possible obstacles such as the aftermath of Typhoon “Odette” and a possible travel ban on domestic tourists due to rising COVID-19 cases.

“Nag-base kami ng target sa naging collection last year, which is na-meet naman ang target namin. So hindi masyadong malaki, kasi hindi pa natin alam kung ano pa ang mangyayari in the coming days,” she said in an interview on Thursday.

“Factored in na sa target ang mga naging calamities nakaraang taon, katulad ng COVID at ang ‘Odette.’ ‘Yon nga lang, hindi pa factored in sa tourism, which is under economic enterprises, ang [possible] travel ban [this month],” she added.

As of press time, the regional Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) has yet to approve the city government’s request for a travel ban on returning residents and domestic tourists. The measure was requested to prevent COVID-19 from entering the city through inbound travelers.

2021’s actual collection surpassed the target of P510,946,384. Abayari stated that the income was favorable despite the COVID-19 surge in Puerto Princesa, which forced some businesses to cease operations. Even without domestic tourism, which was only re-opened in December last year, the treasury still managed to surpass its collection targets for the year.

Aside from local income sources, the Puerto Princesa City government is also expecting a total of P4.4-billion from the national tax allotment (NTA), which replaced the internal revenue allotment (IRA) by virtue of the Mandanas Ruling. Last year’s IRA for Puerto Princesa was P3.1-billion.