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BoC exceeds March collection goal by 23%

The Bureau of Customs and the National Bureau of Investigation-Special Action Unit raided a warehouse filled with illegally imported red and yellow onions and other agricultural products in Punturin, Valenzuela City, March 11. — BUREAU OF CUSTOMS

THE BUREAU of Customs (BoC) on Monday said it collected a record P70.72 billion in March, mainly due to higher imports and improved valuation.

In a statement, it said it exceeded the monthly collection target of P57.69 billion by 23%.

“The BoC posted a surplus of P13.037 billion or 22.6% higher than its target, and remarkably, the bureau has consistently met and exceeded its monthly revenue collection target since January this year,” it said.

The March collection was also 29% higher than P54.5-billion in March 2021.

Citing a preliminary report from the BoC-Financial Service, the bureau said 14 of the 17 collection districts hit their monthly targets.

These were the ports of San Fernando, Manila, Batangas, Iloilo, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga, Davao, Subic, Clark, Aparri, and Limay, as well as the Manila International Container Port (MICP) and Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

For the first three months of 2022, the BoC collected P188.506 billion, making up nearly 27.8% of the 2022 collection target of P679.226 billion.

The bureau attributed its strong revenue collections to the “improving volume of importation in the country, the improved valuation, and the intensified collective efforts of all the collection districts.”

The Department of Finance (DoF) earlier said in a statement modernization programs and automated processes were behind increased collections by the Customs bureau.

The BoC modernization program integrated data from the ports of Manila, Cebu and Davao and the MICP for monitoring by the Customs Operation Center (COC), Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero said in the statement.

He cited BoC initiatives included the cargo targeting system and information and communications technology-enabled projects that have automated the submission, processing and approval of applications by importers and exporters.

The BoC plans to roll out a day-and-night payment system for exporters to speed up the release of goods being delayed by the limited hours of operations. The payment system only runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mr. Guerrero said.

In 2021, the BoC collection reached P645.77 billion, 4.7% higher than its full-year goal of P616.75 billion. This was also 20% higher than P537.69 billion in 2020, when the pandemic affected supply chains.

The BoC and Bureau of Internal Revenue collected P2.732 trillion in 2021, 1.26% higher than their combined target of P2.698 trillion. — Tobias Jared Tomas