Customs collections up 11% in May

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The Bureau of Customs (BOC) boosted its revenues further in May with double-digit growth of 11 percent in its collections for the month.

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Still, the collections fell short of the agency’s programmed target for the month by 18 percent.

The bureau said it missed its target because of lower import volumes.

In a statement, the BOC reported its total collections reached P28.81 billion in May, nearly P3 billion higher than the P25.92 billion collected a year earlier but far short of the P35.09 billion set as the collection target for the month.

“Looking beyond the revenue target, our collection efficiency is improving as we enhance our reference valuation figures and improve enforcement of customs policies and procedures, surveillance, and apprehension of smuggled goods,” said Customs Commissioner John Sevilla.

The volume of imports dropped 6.9 percent year-on-year in May.

The BOC said the volume of imports was slashed by reductions in several high-value product categories, including crude oil and oil products, alcohol products, computers, electronic devices, industrial machinery, mineral products, paper, and pharmaceutical products.

Despite the sluggish importation, cash collections from the BOC operations climbed 10 percent year-on-year to P28.53 billion in May, as the average value declared by importers grew by 24 percent, resulting in a net 15.54 percent increase in valuation and a 12.4 percent hike in the amount of duties and taxes paid compared to a year earlier.

Cumulative Customs collections from January to May were up by 20 percent year-on-year at P146.07 billion from P121.87 billion. But compared with the P165.65 billion target for the five-month period, cumulative collections were short by about P19.58 billion.

Based on the report of the Bureau of the Treasury, the Customs bureau said the Ports of Subic, Cebu and Davao showed positive revenue traction, tracking increased economic activity in these areas.

In May 2014, revenue collections from Subic surged 45 percent to P1.07 billion; while that of Cebu and Davao totaled P1.16 billion and P836 million, respectively.

“As we sustain process improvements, equip our people with better ICT tools and continue plugging sources of revenue leaks, we expect collections to become better,” Sevilla said.

For June, the BOC is programmed to collect P33.29 billion by the inter-agency Development Budget Coordination Committee.

For full-year 2014, the bureau is tasked to collect about P408 billion for the government, or 22 percent of the government’s total revenue target for this year.

Mayvelin U. Caraballo

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