The Province of Cebu sees a silver lining as its revenues increased by 11 percent from January to September this year despite the pandemic.
This would bring in more projects and programs on infrastructure, road improvement, water systems, barangay assistance and other projects which were continued even during the quarantine.
In a document obtained from the Office of the Provincial Treasurer, the Province of Cebu registered an increase in revenues for the first three quarters of 2020 at P3,446,502,728.52 from last year’s P3,104,541,698.42 under the General Fund.
The hike is attributed to the receipts coming from external sources at 13.73 percent and collection from local internal sources like the tax receipts from provincial and district hospitals at 8.65 percent.
External sources include the capital/investment receipts (interest income) and the share in the Internal Revenue Allotment.
“As we look at our total external resources, duna tay 13.73% increase despite sa pandemic nga nahitabo nato. So nindot kaayo ni nga talimad-on and hopefully we expect nga motaas pa ni siya at the end of the year kay ang mga taxpayers nagsugod naman og bayad,” Provincial Treasurer Atty. Roy Salubre said.
The Province would have shown a much higher percentage increase had it not been for the pandemic.
Salubre said a decrease in the collection of taxes and income of the Province-owned and operated Cebu South Bus Terminal (CSBT) was expected as travel restrictions and strict border controls led the terminal to be relocated temporarily and its operations almost put to a halt.
The bus terminal dropped its revenues to 63.63 percent or P18.59 million from last year’s P49.93 million.
Data also showed that tax revenues decreased by 7.81 percent or P142.06 million in 2020 from last year’s P154 million mainly because of the drop in the collection for amusement tax, professional and transfer taxes, real property tax (RPT), as well as fines and penalties for RPT and local taxes.
“Ato gyud na expected kay sa pagka-karon, wa pa gyud makabayad ang mga taxpayers kay first ang ila accessibility ug ilang sources,” he said.
For non-tax receipts, it increased by 15.69 percent from P48.56 million in 2019 to P56.18 million this year for the same period.
The increase, however, was pulled down because of the negative collection in taxes resulting a drop from P202.67 million in 2019 to P198.25 million in 2020 for the same period.
Still, it should be noted that despite the decrease in the overall income in taxes, tax collection for delivery trucks and vans, sand and gravel (SAG) and other quarry products, and fines and penalties for business taxes grew.
Tax collection on delivery trucks and vans increased by 6.42 percent from P5.42 million in 2019 to P5.77 million in 2020 for the same period while tax collected from SAG and other quarry products stood at P18.04 million from last year’s P12.72 million.
Business tax penalties also increased by 299.92 percent from P1.73 million in 2019 to P9.91 million this year.
For non-tax receipts, permit fees increased by 1.10 percent while processing fees for business and service income category posted a 186.82 percent increase from P7.66 million last year to P21.97 million this year.
Total revenue from external sources for 2020 is at P2.940 million compared to last year’s P2.585 million and hospital income increased to P289.817 million this year from last year’s P266.742 million.
Salubre also shared that Cebu Province taxpayers are still willing to pay their taxes to avoid penalties or interest in payments.
“But as we look at the taxpayers all over the province, sa mga munisipyo, willing raman sila mubayad gawas atong mga resorts kay wala man jud income. On the real property aspect, mubayad gyud sila. So it’s a matter of time nga maka-kolekta ta,” he added.
Meanwhile, the re-opening of the new Cebu North Bus Terminal (CNBT) at the SM City Cebu last October 14 is seen to add more revenues to the Province.
Salubre said the new terminal is now generating an average of P30,000 daily income from parking and other fees.
This amount is good even as mini buses are still not allowed to use the terminal.
CNBT is currently accommodating 1,000 passengers a day. (Vanessa L. Almeda)