DESPITE a collection deficit inherited from the previous administration, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) is optimistic it would meet the revenue collection target of nearly P499 billion for 2016.
Speaking to reporters in Malacañang, Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon said there were continuing efforts in the agency to address the huge shortfall in revenue collections.
“I think it’s doable. It depends on our ability to address the other issues, that we improve the revenue collection,” Faeldon said in a news conference.
Customs, which traditionally accounts for a fifth of state revenues and is the second largest revenue agency after the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), is tasked to collect P498.7 billion this year, up by 14 percent from its 2015 goal of P436.5 billion.
In the past two to three decades, there was only one year in which the bureau hit its target, Faeldon said.
The Customs chief vowed to do everything to the address collection gaps this year.
He noted that in the first two quarters of the year, BOC collections were below the target.
“We are picking up in this month. So we’re hoping we can recover up to December,” Faeldon said.
Faeldon however asked the public not to rate the performance of the BOC solely on revenue collection.
“We can bring in a lot of commodities and reach the target, but we might sacrifice our mandate of border security. That’s why we have these balikbayan boxes inspected. We have controlled the delivery of these high-powered firearms,” he said.
“So if you are going to rate the Bureau of Customs based on the tariff or the revenue collection performance alone, then you will be missing two mandates—border security and trade facilitation,” he added.
The BOC, which oversees the collection of Customs revenues from air and sea ports, fell short of its collection target in 2015. It collected P366.906 billion, or P69.685 billion short of its P436.591-billion target.
It also failed to reach its target in 2014, collecting P369.31 billion compared with the target P408.09 billion.
In July, the Duterte administration’s economic managers said they expected a decline in revenues this year due to lower revenues at the BOC and BIR.
The 2016 revenue target was lowered to P2.975 trillion from P3 trillion.