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Customs braces for another month of missed target

Posted on November 09, 2015

CUSTOMS collections likely remained off-target by more than a fourth last month, according to preliminary data the bureau released to journalists late last week.

The Bureau of Customs (BoC) raked in about P31.8 billion in October, 26% short of a P43-billion target. Year-to-date, Customs collections stood at P299 billion.

The bureau has been reeling from lower collections on oil imports, which contribute nearly a fifth to the bureau’s total take, as world oil prices that were halved from a year ago until September barely recovered in October.

Twelve of 17 Customs port collectors in the country were unable to meet collection targets as of the third week of October, the bureau said in a statement, while adding that it expects some recovery in collections as Christmas nears. “We expect a significant increase... from the ongoing influx of shipments for the holidays,” the statement read.

The bureau missed its collection target in September by a fifth, raking in P32.65 billion against a P41.1-billion goal. As of end-September, the bureau collected P268.2 billion against its P436.59-billion full-year goal.

In July, Customs Commissioner Alberto D. Lina conceded to missing the 2015 target given low world crude prices, saying P390-400 billion would be “doable.” He said last week that he will ask state economic managers to trim the bureau’s P498.7-billion target for 2016 as world oil prices are seen to remain soft for some time.

Last year, the bureau saw collections grow 21% annually to P369.28 billion, though still 10% short of a P408.1-billion target. -- Melissa Luz T. Lopez