THE Bureau of Customs (BoC) collection target for 2020 has been reduced to P541.703 billion with the severe economic slowdown expected to persist through the remainder of the year.

Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero issued Memorandum No. 113-2020 outlining the revised revenue target collections of all ports based on the estimates approved by the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) on May 12.

The latest target is 25.7% lower than the P730-billion target set earlier this year before the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic ground the global economy to a standstill.

Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) and Batangas ports were tasked to collect around half of the BoC’s port revenue this year.

MICT was set a target to collect P148.85 billion, or 27% of the total, followed by Batangas port with a P128.84-billion target which is around 24% of the total.

Port of Manila’s target was the third highest at P73.9 billion, followed by Limay port’s P42.7 billion, Ninoy Aquino International Airport’s P35.48 billion, Cebu port’s P26.7 billion, and ports in Cagayan de Oro and Subic at around P24 billion each. The port of Davao has been set a target of P22.79 billion.

Other ports’ targets are: P3.9 billion for San Fernando, La Union, P3.5 billion for Zamboanga, P2.6 billion for Iloilo, P1.5 billion for Clark, P1.1 billion for Tacloban, P482 million for Legaspi, P184 million for Aparri and P15 million for Surigao.

Last month, the DBCC projected government revenue at P2.61 trillion this year, lower than P3.14 trillion in 2019 and the P3.17 trillion forecast in March, on the back of the expected 2-3.4% contraction in the economy this year.

Citing preliminary data, the BoC said collections in May declined 48.4% year on year to P30.01 billion in May, 10% short of its P33.33-billion target.

This brought year-to-date collections to P210.18 billion, down 16.5% and missing the target of P213.5 billion. — Beatrice M. Laforga