THE BUREAU of Customs (BoC) surpassed its revenue target in January, sustaining strong collections from 2018’s record year.
The bureau collected P48.153 billion for the month, surpassing the P45.626-billion goal by 5.5%. The latest amount was likewise up 17.9% from the P40.83 billion collected in January 2018, according to preliminary data released on Monday.
In a statement, the BoC attributed the increase in revenues to bigger cash collections from duties, taxes and fees levied on goods entering Customs ports nationwide.
The bureau reported that 14 of its 17 collection districts met their respective targets for the year, with the exception of the Manila International Container Port, the Port of Manila and the Port of Ninoy Aquino International Airport, which nevertheless still brought in the biggest collection.
Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero said that the bureau is counting on a tighter watch over imports and import values of shipments as part of “continued process improvements” in the agency.
Mr. Guerrero, a former armed forces chief-of-staff who assumed office in October 2018, laid out a 10-point priority plan for this year to improve the bureau’s collection efficiency.
The changes include streamlining the organization, adopting new technology for automation and filling vacant positions.
The agency will also improve cargo clearance and examination protocols, plus capabilities in intelligence and enforcement, Mr. Guerrero has said.
The BoC collected P585.542 billion in total revenues last year, slightly above the P584.881-billion target and 27.8% higher than the preceding year’s P40.83-billion take. The bureau reported that it surpassed monthly collection targets from February to September last year.
For 2019, the bureau aims to collect P662.2 billion, a target set by the Development Budget Coordination Committee in July last year. The target reflects a 13% rise from 2018 collection to help support increased public spending by the administration of President Rodrigo R. Duterte. — Melissa Luz T. Lopez