Two provinces and 14 cities have so far extended the deadline for the payment of local taxes.
The Department of Finance’s Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) said it was not worried yet of a possible lower tax take amid the lockdown imposed to limit the spread of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The BLGF’s list of local government units (LGUs) extending temporary relief to taxpayers included Biñan City, Davao City, Dumaguete City, Ilagan City, Iloilo City, Koronadal City, Las Piñas City, Makati City, Muntinlupa City, Parañaque City, Pasig City, Quezon City, Tandag City and Valenzuela City, as well as the provinces of La Union and Nueva Vizcaya.
“Usually, the first-quarter local revenue collections would constitute already about 45 percent of the full-year target, but the actual revenues could be lower or higher depending on new policies and tax-enforcement mechanisms. With COVID-19, there are 16 LGUs that have already [extended] the first-quarter deadlines. It’s not yet a revenue loss, only deferred local revenues because they are still due and demandable,” BLGF executive director Niño Raymond Alvina told the Inquirer.
Alvina said, however, the BLGF would revisit its earlier LGU estimates and target collections for fiscal year 2020 due to the pandemic.
For 2020, provincial, city and municipal treasurers nationwide have been tasked with collecting a total of P307.1 billion in revenues—P126.2 billion in local business taxes; P107.2 billion in real property taxes; P43.9 billion in fees and charges; and P29.8 billion in receipts from operations of LGUs’ economic enterprises.
Last month, the BLGF allowed the electronic processing and issuance of LGUs’ certificates of net debt service ceiling and borrowing capacity. This would help facilitate an immediate response to LGUs’ requests for credit financing as additional sources of funds for their COVID-19 relief.
“We have yet to receive actual applications, as we expect LGUs to revisit first their previously approved investment plans and priority programs that will be affected. Should their current financial capacity be limited for COVID-19 response, they may also consider loans for the purpose, and our bureau would certify the limitations of their borrowings,” Alvina said.
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