MANILA, Philippines –The Bureau of Customs failed to meet its revenue collection target for seven consecutive months.
Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon, the BOC personnel in charge of collections, who has yet to release the official BOC collection data for the month blamed “slippages” resulting from smuggling and trade liberalization.
This year, the BOC is tasked to collect P340 billion in revenues, which is P57 billion lower than its original P397-billion target earlier set by the Department of Finance (DOF). As of June, the BOC was able to collect P145.17 billion on revenue target of P163.85 billion. This translates to a shortfall of P18.68 billion incurred by the agency during the six-month period.
July revenues summed P27.8 billion, about 14 percent higher than the bureau’s collections during the same period in 2012. However, they were P1.83 billion short of the agency’s monthly target of P29.63 billion, the same sources disclosed.
Moreover, The Bureau of Customs recorded a 14 percent increase in collections this month, but it was not enough to hit its revenue collection target for the period. During the first semester, the bureau collected a little over P145 billion. But the amount was way below its 6-month target of P163.85 billion. However, Biazon said the bureau’s actual collections showed a “slight increase” over the previous year’s figures.
According to the BOC head, the bureau was set back by the March collection figures, which amounted to P21 billion, nearly P7 billion short of the agency’s target of P28 billion for the month.
“We ordered a tightening of the anti-smuggling campaign last March. Stricter measures were implemented to target traders who undervalue and misdeclare, making those who play the ‘cat and mouse game’ adopt a wait-and-see attitude. That could be contributing to that. Plus, of course, the usual slump in collections during the first quarter of the year,” Biazon explained.
Janine Faith A. Tiempo
Leyte Normal University