MANILA, Philippines – Things appear to be coming to a head at the Bureau of Customs (BOC) this early as it recorded its highest monthly revenue deficit last July, hitting an all-time high of P13 billion.
The shortfall coincided with the first month in office of Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon who has taken a hardline stance against corruption. In a July 23 meeting with 50 Customs personnel, he said, “If I have to kill one of your officials every opportunity I get, I will do that," he said. "If that is the only way to reform the bureau."
President Rodrigo Duterte himself had issued a warning to the Bureau of Customs and the Bureau of Internal Revenue to be prepared for a purge of corrupt employees.
The BOC failed to hits its P43-billion July target due to a decrease in volume and value of importations. Ports nationwide collected only a total of P30 billion, with the Port of Cebu being the only one able to meet last month's target. It reported an excess of P26.7 million in collections, equivalent to about 1.6%.
Worst performers were the Ports of Manila (highest deficit of P2.73 billion), Batangas (P2.61 billion revenue shortfall), Manila International Container Port (P2.56 billion), and Limay (P1.97 billion).
Tighter import regulations have reportedly caused legitimate businessmen to take a more cautious approach and hold off on their importations.
Faeldon pointed to port collectors as being responsible for the BOC revenue collections. Uncertainty hangs over their heads as they anticipate the appointment of their possible replacements.
Their performance, according to Faeldon, will determine whether or not they can keep their posts.
Other poor performers
The Ninoy Aquino International Airport also reported a revenue deficit, collecting only P2.9 billion as against its P3.84-billion target.
Other ports that also recorded deficits were: Subic, P581.7 million; Cagayan de Oro, P312.8 million; San Fernando, P144.3 million; Davao, P128.8 million; Iloilo, P57.7 million; Aparri, P44.8 million; Clark, P19.8 million; Legazpi, P17.9 million; Tacloban, P15.1 million; Zamboanga, P10.9 million; and Surigao, P600,000. – Rappler.com