Covid-19 has shown its impact in the government revenue target as the Department of Finance (DOF) reported that its collections for the first quarter of the year fell short by P156 billion.

In a statement, the DOF said that with most economic activities on a standstill from the second half of March due to the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), collections by the Bureau of Internal Revenue and Bureau of Customs reached P600.86 billion for the first three months, or P10.17 billion less of the revenues collected in the same period last year.

According to the preliminary data submitted to the Department of Finance, the amount was P156.26 billion short of the P757.12-billion revenue target for the first quarter.

Revenue collections in March resulted in the combined collections of P163.16 billion, which was P34.5 billion lower than the P197.64 billion in collections in the same month last year and P85.36 billion short of the target of P248.5 billion for the same period.

Malacañang’s enforcement of the Enhanced Community Quarantine or lockdown began last March 16. It was extended to April 30, and there is a possibility for another extension.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said estimates by the Development Budget Coordinating Committee (DBCC) showed that if the economy posts zero growth this year as a result of the health, social and economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, there would be decrease in revenues of P286.4 billion.

Should the growth be at negative one percent, the revenue decline is estimated at P318 billion.

The DBCC set the revenue collection goal at P3.307 trillion for this year. The Bureau of Internal Revenue was mandated to collect P2.576 trillion while the Bureau of Customs was expected to produce P731 billion. (Melo M. Acuña)