GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/29 July) – The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has raised its annual tax collection goal for the Soccsksargen Region to P3.8 billion in a bid to cope with the national government’s funding requirements for this year.
Lawyer Marcelinda Omila-Yap, BIR Revenue Region No. 18 director, said they received a directive from the BIR central office earlier this month to increase their initial collection target of P3.5 billion by an additional P300 million to help build up the government’s resources within the remaining months of the year.
She said the increase was also based on the recent upgrading of the agency’s national goal for this year to P860.3 billion from the P830.2 billion earlier set by the Development Budget Coordination Committee.
“The new administration needs more collection to fund some of its initial programs and projects without raising new taxes,” Yap explained in a regional taxation forum in Koronadal City on Wednesday.
Yap said they initially apportioned the additional collection target to the five BIR revenue district offices in the region. BIR Revenue Region No. 18 covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato. To help cope with their new collection target, Yap said they have intensified the implementation of the agency’s tax collection programs and their campaigns against delinquent tax payers as well as tax evaders in the area.
She said they also intensified their information drive on various BIR priority programs such as the Premyo sa Resibo, Oplan Kandado, Lifestyle check on taxpayers, Project RIP and Operation Delinquent Accounts.
“The new collection goal is really a big challenge for us but we’re currently doubling our efforts to make sure that we meet or even surpass our target,” Yap said.
In the first six months of the year, BIR Revenue Region No. 18 collected a total of P1.845 billion or 16.60 percent more than their initial target of P1.582 billion.
Among its five revenue district offices, Tacurong City in Sultan Kudarat posted the highest collection efficiency rating based on its actual collection for the period of P237.309 million, which is 36.35 percent more than its initial target of P174.044 million.
Cotabato City came in next with a total collection of P440.968 million or 33.7 percent higher than its P329.813 million target and followed by Koronadal City with a total collection of P429.967 million or 22.63 percent more than its initial target of 350.633 million.
General Santos City posted the biggest collection for the period with P518.349 million but it only managed a 1.37 percent increase from its target of P511.339 million.
Kidapawan City collected a total of P218.441 million, which is only 0.88 percent more than its target of P216.540 million for the period. (Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)