Gov’t to probe importers’ tax payments

Customs asked to reconcile trade data with other countries

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Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

The Bureau of Customs must step up collaboration with counterparts from other countries to reconcile the disparities between records in the traffic of goods, according to Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima.

Purisima added that Customs needed to work closer with the Bureau of Internal Revenue to make all of the top 5,000 importers part of the top 10,000 taxpayers.

In a speech during the agency’s anniversary rites held in Cebu earlier this week, the finance chief said these must be done considering that Customs has been a weak area in government financing.

He said that in the past two years, the bureau’s collection effort went down from 2.9 percent of gross domestic product in 2010 to 2.8      percent in 2012.

This was partly because of the reduction in tariff rates, which Purisima said would continue in the years to come due to the country’s international commitments.

However, he said the volume and value of Philippine imports have both been increasing.

To address this, Purisima said the government was looking at establishing a minimum value per container—whether for all or each category of products.

“We’re looking at a value of about P1.5 million per 20-foot container, which means a levy of at least P300,000 per container,” he said. “On the assumption that there are at least 2 million inbound containers that are subject to value-added tax and duties, that’s P600 million.”

Purisima said that for increased collection to materialize, Customs needed to invest in upgrading its information system.

He said the government must reconcile its trade data with those of other countries—a comparison of which normally showed that Philippine-bound cargo from a particular country was more than what Philippine import data showed.

“For example, data from China show that two-way trade with (the mainland) is valued at $32 billion, but our books show it is only $16 billion,” he added.

“We’d like to work with the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and other bilateral partners to reconcile these numbers,” he said. “I’m sure that if we’re able to reconcile these numbers, we’ll be able to set a benchmark that will give us a good chance in improving customs performance.”

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • https://twitter.com/rj_nieto Rj Nieto

    Naku Sen Enrile, paano na ang CEZA?

    #sarcasm

  • http://twitter.com/elkapitan21 edgar

    lugi na naman ang mga importer dito. ang mga taga gobyerno di talaga nakakaintindi. kung may kakulangan or ineffecient ang performance ng ahensya, iba ang may kasalanan. bakit di nyo tingnan ang mga pasweldo nyo dyan sa custom? bakit ipinagpapalit nga mga tao nyo ang risk na makasuhan sila at matanggal sa trabaho kaysa kumita ng pailalim na paraan? taasan nyo ang pasahod para manghinayang ang mga empleyado nyo sa kanilang kabuhayan.

    parang sinabi sa mga importer na wag na kayo gumamit ng container sa mga shipment nyo. lalong tataas ang mga bilihin na may sangkap na imported kasi babawiin ang gastos ng handling sa mga presyo. kay daling solusyon pero tao na naman ang apektado. worthy ba ang mga ito sa kanilang mga pwesto?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VUFRGRCCA5JXOLKEVCJQ3FBW3Y Concerned Citizen

    P600million is a very conservative estimate.  A US$20billion importation of goods subject to VAT from China should generate US$2.4billion OR P97.4billion in VAT from China importations alone. 

  • tea tinio

    unahin nyo ang cedula. tapos PTR. tapos lagyan na ng VAT lahat tulad ng asal ni recto. tapos alisin na ang kongreso at senado para walang gastos. tapos ikulong lahat ng pulis, npa, mnlf, milf, abu sayyaf at militar sa isang malaking kulungan para magkauubusan sila at mabawasan tayo ng gastos.

    laki ng surplus natin.

  • tea tinio

    pinagmalupitan nyo si corona eh barya lang siya kumpara sa customs.

  • Sandy Bulet

    Sana nga maayos na yan agad agad, para mabawasan na rin ang mga tiwali sa custom, nakakahiya, masyado ng madumi ang pangalan ng ahensyang yan. Pag sinabi mong custom, lahat na ata ng nakakaalam sa salitang custom ang pumapasok sa isip ng lahat…CORRUPTION AT KATIWALIAN! Sus experience ko pa minsan nagpapirma ako ng permit to bring-in ung officer NATUTULOG sa opisina, ginising ko pa, kung may camera lang ako non lagot sya. Nakakahiya talaga.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/2PRMWTPYYZZT3M36WBNOPGINHQ gbeth

    common sense: investigate customs first :P

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QHGUJ3OJZAOIMBYYWTABNV2EEM Ai

    At sana matigil na ang biyakan tuwing Biyernes..yung Big 3 dyan – untouchables. Panagutin din ang mga Cayetano ng Taguig sa mga nawawalang cargo van noong panahon ni Alvarez.

    Hay naku ano na progress sa mga isinampang kaso laban sa CDO-Foodsphere, Shell at Phoenix Petroleum.

    Kung gusto nyo talaga ng tuwid na daan – unahin ang Customs!!!

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