The Davao City government has posted a high revenue collection in the first six months of 2020 despite the coronavirus pandemic, exceeding collection in the same period of 2019.

City Treasurer’s Office (CTO) head Atty. Lawrence Bantiding said the current actual collection for the first six (6) months of the year has reached P6.12 billion or 59 percent higher from the collection of P5.53 billion of the same period last year.

“The increase in the collection is attributed to our stable tax collection. Aside from that, the bulk of collection that we collected were from the Business Permit renewal last January,” Bantiding said.

CTO, however, noted a decrease in amusement tax collection due to the closure of cinemas and cancellation of events in Davao City due to the movement restrictions and health measures since the lockdown period in March.

There is also a decrease in transportation system fees due to the non-operation of DCOTT during the period of Community Quarantine and Enhanced Community Quarantine. A 20 per cent decrease in collection of rental fees is also noted under the City Economic Enterprise due to the waiver of rental fees, as per Ordinance No. 0278-20.

Bantiding was positive that the revenue-generating offices can catch up with targets in the second half of the year by strengthening its inspection operations.

“For example, the Business Bureau, they must ensure that those who are conducting business must have a permit. For the Office of the City Building Official, they must ensure that all constructions have secured a building permit. All revenue generating offices should intensify their inspection to ensure that all those who need permits from the city should have gotten one and that should translate an additional income for the city,” he said.

The CTO has set a target of P10.3 Billion pesos for 2020 based on the tax collection of the previous year. Bantiding is hopeful the city can hit its target income by the end of the year.

“Based on our collection as of June, more or less we have reached more than 50 per cent of our target collection so we are hoping that we still reach the target even with the pandemic we are experiencing now.”

The CTO is also optimistic of hitting the target even with the several relief it offered to the taxpayers such as the three-month extension of the payment of the third quarterly installment of Real Property Tax, tax amnesty or relief to delinquent RPT payers and providing for relief to mitigate the adverse economic effects of coronavirus pandemic. CIO