THE BUREAU of Customs (BoC) is considering a P670-billion collection target in 2019, 12% higher than the P598 billion target set this year.
“In 2017, our target was P481 billion. By 2018 it became P598 billion. By next year it will be P670 billion. Every time collections increase by the hundreds of billions. We are positive (of reaching the target) due to the reforms,” Customs Deputy Commissioner Edward Dy Buco said during a panel discussion at the Tax Management Association of the Philippines general membership meeting on Thursday.
“The targets at present were also high because of the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program of the President,” added Mr. Dy Buco.
He said that the BoC’s one-strike policy has been the most effective measure so far in curbing corruption while raising revenue.
“Once there is a verified report on a Customs official, administrative action is taken against that Customs official basically by relieving him from his post,” he said.
He said that the BoC’s collections hit record levels about one or two months after the one-strike policy was implemented in October 2017.
He added that personnel in ports that have been below target were relocated to other ports while others were relieved.
He said that the increased deployment of CCTV and x-ray machines at 17 ports has also helped shore up its collections.
“Addressing corruption really increases revenue collection,” Mr. Dy Buco said.
The Bureau of the Treasury reported earlier this week that BoC revenue grew 27% year-on-year to P51.1 billion in September, the eighth consecutive month the agency had beaten its targets.
In the nine months to September, the Customs bureau generated P434.6 billion, up 34%, and exceeding its P417.5 billion target by 4%.
The latest results represent 72.68% of the full-year target.
However, among the reasons for higher BoC collections were the weaker peso and high global fuel prices. Mr. Dy Buco also noted that web-based software that facilitates appraisals of imported goods with zero human contact will be rolled out this year, which will also curb collusion between customs officials and traders. — Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan