Customs collections surge in February, still below target
MANILA, Philippines—Customs collections surged by more than a fifth for the second straight month in February, reinforcing expectations that reforms implemented by the Bureau’s new leadership have started to gain traction.
The growth in collections came despite a slight dip in the volume of imports for the month—a result of the truck ban in Manila City where the country’s major international ports are located.
“The sustained growth of our collections is strong evidence that we are moving in the right direction. But our job is far from over, and we remain focused on structural reforms which will deliver even stronger growth, more efficient processing, and transparency in the future,” Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner John P. Sevilla said in a statement.
Total collections of the bureau reached P 27.4 billion in February, an increase of 22 percent year-on-year. This followed January’s 21-percent increase in collections.
Year to date, collections totaled P 57.2 billion. The amount is still 7 percent below target.
Revenues continued to grow despite a slight dip of 1.42 percent in the volume of importations in February 2014 compared to the same period in 2013. This was amid a work stoppage initiated by truckers groups to protest the expanded truck ban in Manila.
Collections in nine of the 14 ports under the BOC’s supervision that have reported their revenue figures fell short of target. The Port of Manila and Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) both missed their collection targets. At the Port of Manila, collections reached P4.806 billion versus the target of P6.440 billion. Collections at MICT stood at P6.892 billion versus the P8.728-billion target.
Batangas, the country’s second-largest port, exceeded its collections target by 10.83 percent to a total of P6.238 billion.
The Customs bureau continued to outperform its larger sister agency the Bureau of Internal Revenue, which saw tax collections increase by 5.18 percent in the same month.
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