BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera office of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR-CAR) fell short of its tax collection goal of P4.665 billion by approximately 7 percent after the agency was able to collect more than P4.342 billion from the region’s taxpayers last year.
Lawyer Eduardo Bajador, BIR-CAR regional director, said one of the major factors that contributed in their failure to at least meet their tax collection goal was the absence of projects in the different communities as a result of the declaration as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court (SC) of the controversial Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of lawmakers and the administration’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
However, Bajador disclosed last year’s collection of P4.342 billion was 15 percent higher than its P3.776 billion tax collection in 2013.
For this year, Bajador explained this year’s tax collection of the BIR-CAR was pegged at P5.816 billion because the supposed tax collection goal of Region 8 or the Leyte provinces which were previously devastated by Typhoon Yolanda over a year ago was distributed to the different regional offices to collect from their respective areas.
“We have to seek clarifications from our central office on how our tax collection goal was computed and what sectors we will concentrate in order to achieve our increased tax collection goal for this year,” Bajador stressed.
According to him, Baguio revenue district office was the only office that was able to exceed its goal with over P2.4 billion tax collection compared to its goal of approximately P2.330 billion. Benguet revenue district was a far second with its tax collections amounting to P86 million followed by Abra with approximately P393 million, then Kalinga-Apayao revenue district with tax collections ranging from P241 million while the Mountain Province revenue district was able to collect P232 million and Ifugao revenue district was able to collect P186 million.
The BIR-CAR official underscored the need to have more projects implemented in the countryside in order to contribute in increasing economic activities that will also translate to increased income for the people and more taxes to be collected by the agency from them even if it will only be in terms of withholding and income taxes.
“We tried our best but it seems our best was not so good enough to at least meet our target taxi collection last year. This year, we have to work double time after we are able to ascertain which will be the sectors that we need to concentrate on tax collection,” Bajador said.
Under the agency’s attrition policy, regional directors and revenue district officers who have tax collections that are 7.5 percent below their estimated tax collection goal will be subjected to sanctions such as their transfer to other offices among others.
Bajador said they are just awaiting the meeting to be called for by their central office so that appropriate clarifications could be done on their estimated tax collection goal for this year so that adjustments could be done in their tax collection efforts in the future.
He revealed all revenue district offices are being mandated to conduct aggressive tax mapping operations in their areas of jurisdiction in order to pinpoint individuals and establishments that are obliged to pay their taxes in order to contribute in increasing their tax collection and achieving their projected goals. By Dexter A. See