Revenues collected by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) increased 9 percent in July from a year earlier on the back of higher imports, but the amount fell short of the target for the month by 13 percent.
In a statement on Monday, the BOC said its total collections reached P30.46 billion in July, P2.51 billion higher than the P27.95 billion collected a year earlier but 13 percent below the P35 billion target for the month.
Cumulative collections from January to July were up 18 percent year-on-year at P203.86 billion from P173.08 billion last year. Despite the double-digit growth, collections for the first seven months missed the P233.96 billion target by about P30 billion.
The agency said the expansion in revenue collection was due to a marginal increase in the volume of imported goods.
“Despite operational disruptions brought by Typhoon Glenda and congestion at the Port of Manila and the Manila International Container Port—the country’s largest ports in import volume and revenues– average daily collection improved to P1.44 billion versus P1.2 billion in July 2013. Both months had 21 working days,” it stated.
The BOC said the importation of finished petroleum products, which accounts for about 17 percent of total revenues, grew 34.5 percent year-on-year in July 2014, primarily because of an increase in imports of diesel and liquefied petroleum gas. Average value, however, was down 18.5 percent, consistent with global market trends for oil prices.
The agency cited a recent oil monitoring report by the Department of Energy which noted that a spike in supply in Asia and the Middle East was caused by the return of several refineries from maintenance to operational status and the end of the peak buying season in Asia.
“Crude oil imports likewise expanded 20 percent, accounting for about 11 percent of total BOC revenues,” it said.
The BOC also reported that importation of motor vehicles, which accounts for a 15 percent share of total collection, expanded 22 percent on increasing demand for cars. This is reflected in a report by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines showing that the local automotive sector posted the highest monthly sales record in July, with passenger car sales surging 64.6 percent year-on-year to 8,339 units.
In addition, the agency said other drivers of revenue growth include importation of food items; iron and steel products; as well as electrical machineries and equipment.
The customs bureau said majority of its Collection Districts or Ports saw marked improvements in revenue collection in July.
Revenues from Luzon ports, which include Batangas, Subic and Limay, grew an average 26 percent, while those in the Visayas and Mindanao posted average revenue collection growth of 18 percent and 11 percent, respectively, driven by the economic expansion in Cebu and Davao.
In Metro Manila, revenues from the Port of Manila, Manila International Container Port and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport—which account for the lion’s share of total BOC revenues—were flat year-on-year amid continuing congestion at the ports.
For August, the BOC’s revenue collection target is P33.5 billion as projected by the inter-agency Development Budget Coordination Committee.
For full-year 2014, the bureau is tasked to collect about P408 billion in revenues for the government, or 22 percent of the government’s total revenue target for this year.