MANILA, Philippines – Despite an expansion, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) failed to hit its revenue goals for 2014.
Official collection data showed that BOC generated P369.31 billion ($8.37 billion) in 2014 collections, P38.78 billion ($878.67 million) below the P408.1 billion ($9.25 billion) target.
BOC though registered a 21.1% increase versus the 2013 total collection of P304.93 billion ($6.91 billion).
Despite the missed target, BOC Commissioner John Philip Sevilla is optimistic that the bureau can still hit a double-digit growth of up to 10% this year.
The BOC posted revenues of P38.14 billion ($864.30 million) for the month of December 2014, 19.3% higher than the target of P31.98 billion ($724.75 million). It is also higher by 60.3% compared with the same period last year.
The Batangas, Iloilo, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Subic, and Aparri ports exceeded their collection target for 2014, BOC added.
Impact of lower oil prices
Sevilla earlier said the declining oil prices already had an impact on the BOC’s collections.
“In the first half of the previous year, oil accounted for around 25%. In the second half, it fell to 20%. So the average for the year is about 22%,” Sevilla said.
Despite the decline in the value of crude and petroleum products by 38% and 23%, respectively, cash collections, which net out importations that are booked as tax expenditure funds, or non-cash collections recorded on paper for government transactions, grew by 14%, BOC said.
The National Food Authority (NFA) importation contributed to the further surge in BOC collection in December.
For the calendar year 2015, the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) tasked BOC to collect a total of P456.468 billion ($10.34 billion).
Busts and raps
As BOC is hard-pressed to hit its revenue targets, it opened 2015 with a series of busts and raps versus smugglers.
On Thursday, March 5, BOC filed smuggling charges before the Department of Justice (DOJ) against Stellent Corporation and its executives for the illegal importation of stainless steel sheets in September 2014 worth P7.4 million ($167,758.27).
February was a busy month for BOC for intercepting and condemning smuggled and fake goods.
A joint BOC-Philippine Navy team seized 131,000 sacks of imported rice valued at P100 million ($2.27 million), including high-powered guns from a foreign ship and several other boats in Pata Island, Sulu.
Also last month, BOC destroyed over 150,000 pairs of smuggled counterfeit footwear products of well-known brands worth at least P50 million ($1.13 million).
It also seized P21-million ($482,883.70) worth of imported, smuggled ukay-ukay (second hand, used clothes). – Rappler.com