Total collections of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) from January 1 to April 30 this year dived further to P527.41 billion, which is P179.37 billion or 25.4 percent below what it collected for the same period last year, as a result of the community quarantine measures in Luzon and other parts of the country that have also prompted the agency to extend the deadlines for the filing and payment of income and other taxes to next month.
Preliminary data submitted by the BIR to the Department of Finance (DOF) show that actual collections from Jan. 1 to April 30 is short of P1.02 billion or 0.19 percent of the target of P528.44 billion for the Jan. 1-April 30 period.
As for the Bureau of Customs (BOC), preliminary data show actual collections dipping further to P179.44 billion for the period of Jan. 1 to April 30, which is P14.11 billion or 7.29 percent lower than the amount of P193.55 billion collected in the same period last year.
The Jan. 1-April 30 collection of the BOC is also P27.15 billion or 13.14 percent short of the target of P206.59 billion for this four-month period.
Thus, the collection of both the BIR and BOC combined from Jan. 1 to April 30 reached only P706.85 billion, which is P28.17 billion short of the target of P735.03 billion for that period.
The P706.85 billion collected is also P193.48 billion lower than the amount of P900.33 billion collected in the same period last year.
The BIR, which accounts for 78 percent of the state’s tax collection capacity, reported collections of P71.78 billion April 1-30 period.
Compared to the April 2019 actual collection of P237.93 billion, the amount collected for April 2020 is 69.83 percent short.
In the BOC, collections from April 1 to 30 amounted to P33.97 billion, which is P17.71 billion or 34.27 percent below its collection of P51.67 billion in the same period last year.
It is also P22.57 billion or 4o percent lower than the April 1-30 target of P56.54 billion.
For April 1 to 30, the combined BOC and BIR collections totaled only P105.75 billion, which is P183.85 billion lower than the amount of P289.6 billion collected for the same period last year.
It is also P25.25 billion lower than the combined BIR and BOC target of P131 billion for that period.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III earlier assured the Filipino people that even with the significant decline in both bureaus’ revenue collections, the country remains “financially able” to meet the unexpected challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic because President Duterte has ordered economic managers since the beginning of his administration in 2016 to maintain fiscal discipline and exercise prudence in state spending,
As result of these conservative fiscal policies, Dominguez said the government has been able to roll out a four-pillar socioeconomic strategy to defeat COVID-19, which would involve budgetary, fiscal and monetary measures with a combined value of P1.74 trillion or around 9.1 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
The components of the four-pillar strategy are:  the emergency support for poor and low-income households, small businesses and their employees, and other vulnerable groups;  the marshalling of medical resources to combat COVID-19 and ensure the safety of health frontliners;  fiscal and monetary actions to finance emergency initiatives and keep the economy afloat; and 4) an economic recovery plan to create jobs and sustain growth.