By Bernadette D. Nicolas, January 15, 2020; Business Mirror

The Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) of the Department of Finance has set a P307.08-billion collection target for all provincial, city and municipal treasurers in a bid to push local government units to “optimize their local taxing and revenue-raising powers.”

This year’s target is 19­ percent higher than last year’s original target of P257.58 billion, composed of own-source revenues of local government units (LGUs) from real-property tax (RPT), local business, and other taxes, fees and charges, and receipts from operations of local economic activities and enterprises.

By end of 2020, local governments are expected to collect P136.188 Billion or 44 percent of their target revenues after the renewal of business permits and licenses, and deadline of local tax payments.

Broken down, the full-year target for local treasurers per LGU level is P54.19 billion or 18 percent for provinces; P213.71 billion or 69 percent for cities; and P39.21 billion or 13 percent for municipalities.

Per revenue source, the bulk will come from local business and other taxes at P126.19 billion or 41 percent, followed by real-property taxes at P107.19 billion or 35 percent; fees and charges at P43.91 billion or 14 percent; and P29.79 billion or 10 percent from receipts from economic enterprise of LGUs.

The region with the highest collection target for 2020 is the National Capital Region at P122.06 billion or 39 percent followed by Region 4A and Region 3, with P46.08 billion or 15 percent and P28.93 billion or 9-percent targets, respectively.

Leading the provinces with the highest 2020 collection target is Rizal at P3.14 billion, while Quezon City topped the list of cities with the biggest target collection at P22.78 billion.

Cainta, Rizal is targeting P0.70 billion for this year, making it the municipality with the highest collection target.

The target for RPT is based on the LGU’s total current collectibles and cumulative five-year realty-tax delinquencies, while targets for local business tax and other taxes, fees and charges, and receipts from economic enterprise/s are based on the previous year’s actual collections plus an incremental factor based on the gross regional domestic product and inflation rate.

The setting of annual local revenue collection target is part of the performance evaluation of local treasurers who are under the administrative and technical supervision of the DOF, through the BLGF, and as one of the indicators in Chapter 15 of Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017 to 2020.

Local treasurers are given until February 28, to request the BLGF for adjustment of the fiscal year 2020 targets, in cases of new local legislation adjusting the rates of taxes, fees and charges, closure of business establishments, windfall collections from the previous year that the LGU cannot collect anymore for the current year, reassessment of properties due to natural and man-made calamities, local tax relief programs, among others, subject to validation by the BLGF.

The BLGF Central Office already issued the preliminary targets for all provincial, city and municipal treasurers last December 2, 2019, and the final targets will be released on March 31, 2020.