MANILA, Philippines—The Bureau of Customs (BOC) collected a little over P22.8 billion in revenue in February, around P614 million, or 2.8 percent, more than it collected in the same period last year.
Last month’s revenue, however, was P1.24 billion short of the Department of Finance-attached agency’s collection target of P24.04 billion.
Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon on Monday said that the agency’s preliminary figures for February put cash collections at P22.8 billion.
“On a year-on-year basis, our January-February collections are P3.14 billion, or a 7.1-percent increase over revenue during the same period in 2012,” Biazon said in a text message to the Inquirer.
Biazon pointed out that after the collection shortfalls it experienced in 2012, the BOC posted a collection surplus of over P200 million in January.
“The bureau’s collections for January 2013 totaled P24.5 billion against its target of P24.3 billion,” he said.
The BOC head attributed the increase in the agency’s revenue to its “reconfiguration strategy,” or the reshuffle of some key officials early this year.
“The movement of officials to assignments where they would be most effective has paid off,” said the former Muntinlupa City legislator. “We may have found the right chemistry among our officials to enable us to meet our collection target for 2013, although it remains to be seen as we progress through the year.”
Biazon said he had given the BOC’s front-line officials their respective monthly collection and smuggling apprehension targets to keep them on their toes.
He said he planned to closely monitor the BOC officials’ performances on a monthly basis.
“I won’t hesitate to undertake more rounds of reconfigurations should I find it necessary, if only to ensure our meeting the 2013 collection target assigned to us by the government,” Biazon said.
On Monday, he expressed confidence that with the full operational computerization program this year, the bureau would be able to surpass or, at least, meet its 2013 collection target (of P340 billion).
“With human intervention minimized, if not eliminated upon full completion of the program, BOC collections would be maximized and smuggling would eventually be eliminated,” Biazon said.