THE BUREAU of Customs (BoC) has transferred district collectors and other personnel on Tuesday after they failed to meet their respective revenue targets last month.
In a statement yesterday, the BoC said that it has “reassigned 66 of its personnel to various offices as part of the major reshuffle of the organization,” which included the “district collectors of the ports who failed to meet their March revenue target.”
The BoC said that Personnel Orders were signed by Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III on April 3.
The BoC collected P45.398 billion in March, up 19.1% from a year earlier.
Although it exceeded its P45.133-billion overall target that month by P265 million, five of 17 Customs stations failed to meet their goals — the Port of Manila, Manila International Container Port (MICP), Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the Port of Iloilo, and the Port of Zamboanga.
The BoC noted that the former Port of Davao district collector Erastus Sandino B. Austria has been reassigned to the Port of Manila, replacing lawyer Vener S. Baquiran — who has been transferred to the Compliance Monitoring Unit (CMU).
The head of the Export Coordination Division, lawyer Romalino G. Valde, who is also with the Assessment and Operations Coordinating Group, meanwhile, will become district collector for Port of Davao.
District collector Maritess T. Martin from the Port of Clark was appointed district collector for the MICP, replacing Balmyrson M. Valdez who will now head the Legal Service of the Revenue Collection Monitoring Group (RCMG). Lilibeth S. Sandag of the RCMG, meanwhile, will become as the district collector for the Port of Clark.
“I have given Austria and Martin bigger responsibilities to head the major ports since they are consistently hitting their targets with huge surpluses since I assumed office,” Commissioner Isidro S. Lapeña was quoted in the statement as saying.
“Their revenue performance in April will determine whether they will stay in their position as district collector,” he added.
District collectors at the Port of Zamboanga and Ninoy Aquino International Airport were not affected by the reorganization as they assumed office in mid-March, according to the BoC.
As of December last year, the BoC said that about 186 Customs personnel have been transferred or dismissed. On March 16, the BoC appointed five new officials to replace those that failed to meet their February collection goals.
The BoC and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) reported double-digit growth in collections in the first quarter after the implementation the tax reform law.
Citing initial Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) estimates, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez told reporters in a mobile phone message that “Q1 collections of BIR and BoC increased by 16% and 24% respectively over the same period last year.”
“Disbursements grew by 31% for [the] same period,” he added.
Asked what likely fueled the surge in its fiscal performance, Mr. Dominguez said: “Our Build, Build, Build and TRAIN programs are working as planned.”
The Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law or Republic Act No. 10963 became effective on Jan. 1, imposing additional taxes on cigarettes, sugar-sweetened beverages, cars, coal, minerals, and sugar-sweetened drinks, among others, while also reducing personal income taxes and value-added tax exemptions.
The BIR collected P370.4 billion in the first three months of 2017, BTr data show, and a 16% rise would mean P429.66 billion in collections in the first quarter this year.
The BoC, on the other hand, collected P104.1 billion in revenue in the first three months of 2017. Growth of 24% means collections of P129.08-billion in the quarter just ended.
First quarter 2017 expenditures, meanwhile, stood at P615.4 billion, and a 31% increase points to P806.17 billion in spending in the first quarter of 2018. — Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan