THE two major revenue-generating government agencies surpassed their downward-revised collection targets in the nine months to September, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said.

Citing preliminary data, Mr. Dominguez said Monday that the Bureaus of Internal Revenue (BIR) and Customs (BoC) collected a combined P1.82 trillion in the period, beating their lowered P1.682-trillion target by 8.2%.

The two agencies also exceeded their year-to-date collection goals in August.

Mr. Dominguez announced on Viber that the BIR beat its P1.31-trillion target by 8.6% after collecting P1.423 trillion in the first nine months.

He said the BoC surpassed by 6.8% its P372-billion goal after generating P397.5 billion during the period.

However, the year-to-date collections of the two agencies were below their year-earlier levels by 11.2% and 15.4%, respectively, according to Bureau of the Treasury data.

In September, the two agencies collected P168.86 billion, or 8.7% more than their combined target of P155.31 billion for the month. This was 19.3% behind the year-earlier pace.

The BIR collected P118.63 billion that month, beating its target by 1.04%, but down 21% year on year. This was the third consecutive month the bureau surpassed its revised target.

The BoC collected P50.226 billion, beating its target by 33.17%. This was the fourth straight month the bureau has exceeded its goal.

In a separate statement Monday, the BoC said: “The improved collection performance is attributed to the intensified collective effort of all ports, gradual improvement of importation volume and the government’s efforts in ensuring unhampered movement of goods domestically and internationally considering the pandemic situation,” according to the statement.

It said 14 of the 17 collection districts met their targets for the month — the Port of San Fernando, the Manila International Container Port, Ninoy Aquino International Airport, as well as the Ports of Batangas, Cebu, Tacloban, Surigao, Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga, Davao, Subic, Clark, Aparri and Limay.

The economic team slashed its revenue projections as the economic downturn and lockdown dampened tax collection.

The BIR’s target for the year was lowered by 3% to P1.686 trillion while Customs was tasked to generate P506.15 billion, down 6.6% from the previous goal.

Lockdown restrictions have been slowly relaxed since June to revive the economy after a near-standstill between mid-March and May.

Full-year gross domestic product growth is expected to come in between minus 4.5% and minus 6.6%. — Beatrice M. Laforga