WITH the gradual increases in quarterly tax collections, annual total for Northern Mindanao reached P4.386 billion which grew by 3.98 percent against 2008 collections.

However, the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) said compared to its target for the year, tax collections fell short by 7.98 percent.

Among revenue districts, only Gingoog City surpassed its target for the year.

Cagayan de Oro City, while not able to meet its annual collections goal by almost nine percent, registered the highest increase by 12 percent. Bukidnon, Ozamiz City and Iligan City all barely made their targets and growth.

Neda attributed the shortfalls to foregone revenues due to implementation of legislative measures such as Republic Acts 9337 and 9504 involving the total amount of P359 million and crediting of tax payments made by National Power Corporation, Cagayan de Oro City, Malaybalay City, and Iligan City to the Large Taxpayers Service in Manila, amounting to about P130 million.

Meanwhile, as opposed to tax collections, year-on-year customs collection for the third straight quarter continued to dip. But, at five percent negative growth, it was the least fall compared to the runaway reduction in the first and second quarter with negative 19 and negative 23 percent, respectively.

Nevertheless, on a quarter-on-quarter growth, collection had been inching its way up. However, it has to grow by 24 percent by the first quarter of 2010 to bring collection back to its highest level in the third quarter of 2009 before the dive.

For the whole year, collections dropped by 11.4 percent and fell short of target by 17.6 percent.

Collections from value added tax, which constituted the bulk of collections at 71 percent, failed to give the needed push as there was substantial reduction in the arrival of dutiable goods.

Moreover, actual average tariff rates were lower at three percent than the 5.5 percent assumed average tariff in the setting of target

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