MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) failed to meet any of its revenue targets for the first half of 2016.
According to records, the government’s second largest revenue-generating agency was only able to collect P190.27 billion ($4.04 billion) for the first 6 months of the year – P48.5 billion ($1.03 billion) less than its P238.32 billion target ($5.07 billion).
In April, for example, the bureau’s collection only reached P32.45 billion ($690 million) out of its target of P40.92 billion ($873.3 million). In May, deficit reached P8.83 billion ($188 million).
The numerous ports under the BOC also suffered big losses, contributing to the downward trend. The top 5 ports’ collections account for almost 85% of the monthly revenues of the BOC.
The bureau’s top ports include the Port of Manila, Manila International Container Port (MICP), Port of Limay, Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), and Batangas Port.
Aside from the top 5 ports, collections were also down in other ports across the Philippines.
Only the Port of Zamboanga exceeded its collection target for the first 6 months of the year. Its collections reached P109.4 million ($2.3 million) or P24.8 million ($527,488) more than its target of P84.6 million ($1.8 million).
The agency’s large shortfall in the first half of the year poses a challenge for newly-installed Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon.
The BOC, together with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Land Transportation Office (LTO), was named one of the most corrupt agencies in the government by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Faeldon, for his part, vowed to change the BOC. He even stated that he will “kill” those who dare block his efforts to reform the agency. (READ: Faeldon to BOC officials, employees: Support reforms or die) – Rappler.com
$1 = P47