On account of the stringent world travel restrictions imposed in response to the still raging Covid-19 pandemic, the Bureau of Immigration’s 2020 revenue collections shrank to P5.88 billion only, a significant 36.1% dip from its P9.3 billion revenue take in 2019.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente admitted Monday they anticipated their revenues to decline early on due to the pandemic. “With more foreign nationals going out of the country than coming in, we were able to collect less revenue from visa applications,” he said.
Morente attributed the revenue decline to the suspension of transactions in the bureau for more than two months after the government declared a lockdown in March last year.
He hopes revenue collections will gradually return to normal this year as the country awaits the arrival of the Covid-19 vaccine and international travel restrictions are lifted.
Had the pandemic not occur, BI finance chief Judith Ferrera said the bureau was poised to post another record high income in 2020, adding that BI has has started the year on a very positive note as its January and February collections amounted to P1.8 billion. Revenues, however, dropped to only P480 million in March with the enhanced community quarantine implemented in the entire Luzon.
Ferrera said BI derives the bulk of its revenues from visa processing and extension fees, immigration taxes, fines and penalties, clearance and certification taxes.