MANILA, Philippines – Ongoing reforms, especially the series of personnel transfers meant to improve the revenue collection performance of the Bureau of Customs in the long-term, has caused a short-term bump.
In an interview with reporters on Monday, October 7, Customs Commissioner Rufino “Ruffy” Biazon said the agencies collections for the month of September increased only 8.9%, slower than the 13.5% increase in July and 15.3% in August.
This translated to a P3.9 billion shortfall in its September collections. It managed to collect P25.274 billion, only 87% of its P29.173 billion target for the month.
It has missed its target for at least 7 months this 2013.
“I would attribute to the effect of the personnel movement we had,” Biazon said of his bureau’s September performance.
The bureau, criticized for rampant corruption and for smuggling activities that have been costing the government billions of pesos of foregone revenues, has replaced all its 5 deputy commissioners and transferred its 27 district collectors to the Customs Policy Research Office (CPRO), a newly-created office under the Department of Finance (DoF).
Biazon remained confident the agency would meet its internal target of P300 billion revenue collections for 2013.
The agency is tasked to collect P397 billion in 2013.
“I think it is reachable, the internal goal to break P300 billion within the year. Of course, the challenge is to collect the P340 billion target,” Biazon said.
“This introduction of new leadership, if there were leakages in the past we are hoping the vigor of the new leadership would fill up the gaps,” Biazon said.
READ: New Customs officials vow to ‘work together’ on reforms
Customs is the second largest revenue collection agency of the government. – Rappler.com
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