EVEN as the Bureau of Customs (BoC) has made significant progress in revenue collection, it may not likely meet again its assigned collection target for the year
The drought in target collection looms for the seventh straight year as the bureau collected only P39.545 billion in September, the first month in office of Commissioner Isidro Lapeña, or more than P10 billion short of target.
Customs records show that the BoC collected a total of P3,316,889,000 on September 28 and P3,193,804,000 on September 29.
The P3-billion plus figures are the first in the collection performance history of the bureau, the country’s second largest revenue-generating agency next to the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
The total cash collection of P39.545 billion for September is also regarded as the highest cash collection achieved for a month based on records but still P10.55 billion below target.
When Lapeña assumed office last month, the bureau’s January to August total collection stood at P261.81 billion, which was 4.35 percent short of target.
The shortfall prompted the BoC chief to issue a marching order to all district collectors to intensify their revenue collection efforts or P50.1 billion every month from September to December so that the bureau would be able to meet its P468 billion target for 2017.
The Customs bureau has been on a seven-year collection slump, starting in 2010 during the Aquino administration, which saw four changes in the Office of the Commissioner, namely Angelito Alvarez, Rufino Rozzano Biazon, John Sevilla and Alberto Lina.
Despite a gloomy picture, Lapena still remains confident that he would be able to break the collection slump.
“We will try our best, and I am optimistic that we will be able to fully hit our target by year-end,” he said.
Lapena attributed the improvement in the September collection performance to the 20.92-percent increase in valuation compared to last year of the same period.
The bureau was able to collect duties and taxes for September based on the total dutiable value of imports amounting to P420, 204, 629 compared to the assessed dutiable value of P347, 504,895 of the same month in 2016.
WILLIAM B. DEPASUPIL