• BOC may seek lower 2016 collection goal

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    The Customs bureau is considering asking for a lower 2016 revenue target, citing subdued oil prices that have dented collections this year.

    Customs Commissioner Alberto Lina, who last month said he remained optimistic of meeting the 2015 goal, on Tuesday said the following year’s mark was “too high”.

    He told reporters the bureau might ask the interagency Development Budget Coordination Committee to revise the P498.7-billion target for 2016, noting that a sizeable chunk of their revenue comes from oil imports.

    Lina claimed that to date the bureau had lost some P50 billion to P70 billion due to low oil prices.

    Customs revenues fell below target in September, latest data show, with the bureau noting that lower oil prices had offset an increase in overall import volumes. It netted P36.25 billion, short of the P4.85-billion goal and down 0.8 percent from a year earlier.

    The bureau pointed out that import values had fallen by 5.4 percent even as volumes surged by 20.5 percent. In particular, it noted that revenues from oil imports fell by 33 percent to P6 billion while non-oil earnings rose 11.3 percent to P2.7 billion.

    Year to date the bureau is also behind its collection goal. Cumulative revenues grew by 0.9 percent to P268.229 billion but were short of the P314.171-billion target for the period.

    “Preliminary figures for October are looking up so we will strengthen efforts to meet targets by the end of the year,” Lina said last month.

    The bureau has been assigned a P436.5-billion target for the year. Last year, it failed to meet its P408-billion goal, only netting P369 billion.

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