BUREAU OF CUSTOMS (BoC) collections generated by imports of mobile phones rose 27% year on year to P2 billion in the four months to April following the adoption of an improved valuation system.

The Department of Finance (DoF) said in a statement Tuesday that the increased revenue was accompanied by a 30.4% drop in import volume.

Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero said the new valuation system charges tax per device and takes into account the brand of device, and the result reflects the import of higher-end units as well.

The DoF said Customs also generated higher collections from other devices and accessories in the four months.

It collected P24.79 million from mobile phone parts, up 78% year on year, and P3.46 billion from other types of telecommunication devices, up 28%.

This brought the total collections from the telecommunications sector to P5.49 billion as of April, up 28%.

Meanwhile, the BoC’s rice tariff collections rose 3.8% to P5.67 billion.

Volume of rice imports fell 9.2% to 804,360 metric tons in the January-April period.

Mr. Guerrero said the decline in the volume of imported grain coincided with the domestic harvest season.

The collections in those four months accounted for 57% of the P10 billion the BoC must remit to the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) as required by Republic Act 11203, or the Rice Tariffication Law.

RCEF supports farm mechanization and other programs to enable farmers to better compete against imports. — Beatrice M. Laforga