BIR-Davao expects 10% drop in revenue collections due to COVID-19

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 11 Mar) – The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) here is expecting a P2.1-billion drop or equivalent to 10 percent of the agency’s target revenue collections of P21 billion for 2020 amid growing fears arising from the threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), an official said.

Davao City remains free from the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) as laboratory results conducted by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) on the test swab taken from a patient confined at the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) turned up negative. Photo taken Tuesaday, (10 March 2020). Mindanews photo

Speaking during Wednesdays at Habi at Kape, Abolhasan S. Balindong, assistant revenue district officer of BIR-East Davao, said Regional Revenue Office 19 of BIR—covering the cities of Davao, Tagum, Digos, and Mati—would likely not hit the revenue target for this year as it is expecting the COVID-19 scare to affect major establishments.

He said establishments engaged in food and tourism industries would most likely bear the brunt of the growing public health concerns.

Some establishments in the region are starting to feel from low-income turnout in the early part of this year following the outbreak of the coronavirus in China and elsewhere in the world.

He said the BIR hopes the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country would no longer rise to prevent severely affecting the local businesses, as health problems of epidemic proportions would cause a major impact on the BIR’s revenue collections.

As of Tuesday, Department of Health reported 30 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country.

In Davao City, Dr. Leopoldo Vega, Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) chief of hospital, said there is still no confirmed COVID-19 case in Davao Region after the patient who was confined at the hospital turned out negative for the disease based on the laboratory tests conducted by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).

“Result is negative for PUI (person under investigation),” Vega said in a text message.

Dr. Annabelle Yumang, regional director of the Department of Health (DOH), said on Monday that the test swab was brought to RITM last Saturday for testing.

On Saturday, the DOH raised an alert system to Code Red after it confirmed another two cases of COVID-19, one of them with no known travel history abroad.

Yumang said the alert level was raised as a “pre-emptive call to ensure that the national and local governments, and public and private health care providers can prepare for the possible increase in suspected and confirmed cases.”

She urged the public to avoid crowded places, and continue to practice “hygiene by frequently washing their hands with soap and water very frequently, practice proper coughing and sneezing etiquette and proper disposal of used tissue.” (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)