Lockdowns dent BIR 7-month collection


THE Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) fell short of its P1.226-trillion collection goal for January to July as Covid-19-induced lockdown restrictions continue to hamper economic activity.

Latest preliminary BIR data obtained by the BusinessMirror showed the bureau’s collection in the seven-month period settled at P1.206 trillion in the seven-month period, narrowly missing its target by 1.65 percent or P20.28 billion.

However, this is still higher by 7.94 percent or P88.7 billion compared to its revenue take of P1.12 trillion in the same period last year.

BIR Deputy Commissioner Arnel Guballa pointed to the lockdown restrictions in the pandemic as the reason behind the bureau’s failure to hit its target for the seven-month period.

For July alone, however, the BIR collected P171.85 billion, exceeding its P165.82-billion collection goal for the month by 3.64 percent.

It also surpassed its P160.57-billion take in the same month last year by 7.03 percent.

To recall, Metro Manila and nearby provinces Cavite, Rizal, Laguna, and Bulacan were placed under Enhanced Community Quarantine from March 22 to April 11 to address the surge in Covid-19 cases. After that, the government eased the restrictions in National Capital Region Plus (NCR Plus) to Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine from April 12 to May 14.

Then, NCR Plus was placed under General Community Quarantine from the latter part of May until the end of July.

Guballa said they still hope to collect a total of P2.081 trillion.

Last year, BIR raked in P1.95 trillion, exceeding its downscaled revenue collection target of P1.686 trillion.

The government hopes to raise more revenues this year to cover the expected higher budget deficit. The Cabinet-level Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) now projects this to reach a new record high of 1.86 trillion or 9.3 percent of the country’s GDP.

The DBCC earlier slashed its growth projection for the Philippine economy this year to 6 to 7 percent—from its previous forecast range of 6.5 to 7.5 percent—also due to the implementation of stricter lockdown measures in NCR Plus in the second quarter.

The Philippine economy grew by 11.8 percent in the second quarter, the highest since the fourth quarter of 1988 when the economy grew 12 percent.

The Philippine Statistics Authority reported that the country’s GDP growth averaged 3.7 percent in the first semester, using constant 2018 prices.

National Statistician Claire Dennis S. Mapa said the economy needs to post a growth of 8.2 percent in the second half of the year to hit the government’s low-end GDP growth target of 6 percent.

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