COA cites higher tax collections in ARMM



The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has earned plaudits from the Commission on Audit (COA) for increasing its collection of local taxes, fees and other revenues to over P764 million in 2010.

The COA said this represented a 14-percent increase from its 2009 revenue collection and was achieved despite low economic activities in ARMM, lower Bureau of Internal Revenue collections, and the implementation of the law exempting minimum-wage earners from paying taxes.

The COA attributed the improved revenue collection to the Office of the Regional Treasurer, headed by Kanggo Umal, who it said deserved plaudits for the feat.

Boost collections

ARMM’s total collection from regional taxes, fees and charges, and its share from the national internal revenue taxes and other regional revenues amounted to P764.74 million in 2010, higher than the P669.89 million collected the previous year.

The COA noted that to boost revenue collections, ARMM officials conducted tax campaign activities; improved the modes of tax withholding and remittance arrangements; focused more on identification and pursuit of collection claims, such as shares from taxes paid by large taxpayers and regional tax from the National Power Corp., and coordinated with national and regional line agencies and local government units.

Wasted funds

But the COA also found that P3 million in loans that the Department of Trade and Industry extended to three nongovernment organizations went to waste.

It said the funds, which were intended for projects meant to help the poorest of the poor, were wasted because of a deficient contract with the NGOs.

The volatile peace and order situation in the target area was also a factor for the nonimplementation of the projects. It also found that the NGOs that received the money had stopped operating and could no longer be located.

Defective contracts

According to the COA, the P3 million in loans under the DTI’s Tulong sa Tao Self-Employment Loan Assistance went to Canibungan Multi-Purpose Cooperative in Basilan, the Basak Multi-Purpose Cooperative in Basilan, and the Maguindanao Agri-Link Multi-Purpose Cooperative in Maguindanao.

The loan guidelines provided for the payment of the loan within a three-year period.

But the COA said the memorandum of agreement between the NGOs and DTI-ARMM did not contain provisions on how the principal amount of the loan, interest and penalties would be settled by the NGOs.

“So the contract lacks one of the important elements, which is the ‘cause or consideration’ and therefore said contracts are all vitiated or defective,” it said.

Legal action

It further said that because of the deficiencies in the contracts, the NGOs failed to implement the intended programs since they were not obliged to under the circumstances of the contract.

“So the constituents in the granted areas did not get the value of their monies as nobody was benefited. It has not changed the economic life of the people in the areas,” it lamented.

The COA recommended that the ARMM government initiate legal action against the signatories to the MOA so the money could be recovered.

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  • Marlyn De vera

    COA should give report on the total collection of taxes nationwide and not on ARMM alone, which is as of this date is short by 2Billion Pesos as they have projected. . . another cover-up ha.

  • Anonymous

    Improving ang ARMM ha, kudos sa mga kagupa diyan sa Maguindanao. Let us choose the path for peace for the development of Maguindanao..start it with improving Mindanao State University-Maguindanao to properly educate the Maguins not with islamic education, let the mosque and iman do it, but with proper higher education for its people to be competitive. Remove the culture of Rido and war, the government to pour farm to road investment, choose the right local leaders, attract local and foreign investment and be a place that is an envy of the people of Mindanao or of the country. This can be achieved through lasting peace and order situation. 

  • Dana

    I commend our Muslim brothers in ARMM. This is an indication that they are moving forward.  I also recommend our brothers and sisters in the MILF influenced communities ( MIC’s). I recommend that they move forward too. Let your youth get education. Education will open doors. Mindanao is so rich and all Filipinos must benefit from it,  no matter what your background is.  The only friend we have is ourselves. Foreign powers will pretend to be friends but as long as it serves their agenda. Look what happened to SUDAN, foreigners intervened and they split it into two.  A foreign power already is making a deal secretly with the MILF.  

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