Davao City posts 59% revenue growth in 1H 2020

By Che Palicte

July 21, 2020, 2:19 pm

DAVAO CITY – Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the city government said it managed to surpass expectations by posting a 59-percent increase in revenue collections in the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2019.

Lawyer Lawrence Bantiding, head of the City Treasurer’s Office (CTO), said the city collected over PHP6.1 billion in revenues for the first six months of the year, or almost 60 percent higher than the PHP5.5-billion collection in 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.

However, CTO noted a decrease in amusement tax collection due to the closure of cinemas and cancellation of events because of movement restrictions following the imposition of community quarantine in March to contain Covid-19 infections.

CTO also bared a decrease in transportation system fees due to the non-operation of Davao City Overland Transport Terminal (DCOTT) during the enhanced community quarantine period.

A 20-percent decrease in collection of rental fees is also noted under the City Economic Enterprise due to the waiver of rental fees, which was granted as part of the relief measures for small businesses.

The City Council approved three remedial measures for businesses consisting of payment extension, tax amnesty for delinquent real property taxpayers, and the 60-percent reduction on the rental fees on commercial government stalls or booths.

Still, Bantiding said he remains optimistic that the revenue-generating offices can catch up with targets in the second half of the year by strengthening inspection operations.

"For example, the Business Bureau 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," he said.

"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 added.

The CTO has set a target of PHP10.3 billion revenue collection for 2020 based on the tax collection of the previous year.

"Based on our collection as of June, more or less we have reached more than 50 percent of our target collection so we are hoping that we still reach the target even with the pandemic we are experiencing now,” Bantiding said. (PNA)