by Jigger Jerusalem

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Tax collection of the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s Revenue District Office no. 98 (Cagayan de Oro City) continues to shoot up as the BIR gears to meet its P2.7 billion revenue target this year, BIR officials said.

For instance, tax collection in August this year posted a significant increase as compared to the same period last year.

Figures from the BIR showed that in August 2009 alone, tax collection totaled P261.5, marking a 19-percent upturn from August 2008’s P219.8 million, or an excess of P41.7 million.

Gonzales said that of all revenue districts under the revenue region no. 16 (Northern Mindanao), only revenue district no. 98 (Cagayan de Oro) has registered a positive growth.

BIR collection supervisor Ed Cabanes said RDO 98’s contribution to the total RR 16’s performance is almost at 65%.

Cabanes added that they have met with the city’s business community, and that they have pledged their support to RDO to reach the target. “We need the cooperation of our businessmen,” he said.

There are six revenue districts within RR 16, namely, Cagayan de Oro, Gingoog, Malaybalay, Ozamiz, Iligan, and Marawi.

“This could be attributed to the confidence of local taxpayers to the bureau,” said Revenue District Officer Noel Gonzales.

Since Gonzales assumed office last March, the bureau was also able to recover its P117 million deficit.

With this outlook, Gonzales expressed optimism that RDO’s target for this year, P2.7 billion, will be achieved.

The bureau’s improved performance, he said, was due to the support of BIR commissioner Sixto Esquivias IV, as well as members of the local business community.

Esquivias and the chambers of commerce’s support came on the wake of malicious text messages being passed around telling taxpayers not to pay their taxes to the government.

In his statement, Esquivias gave assurance that the BIR national office is backing RDO 98 in its effort to maximize tax collection.

The Coalition of Chambers and Industries of Northern Mindanao also commended the BIR for practicing the taxpayer-friendly “open-door and service-oriented” policy.

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