Airport customs take short of P3.5B through May
MANILA, Philippines–From January to May this year, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) office at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) registered a revenue collection deficit of more than P3.5 billion.
With a revenue goal of P14.68 billion, the Department of Finance-attached agency’s unit at the Naia was able to collect only P11.18 billion during the five-month period.
In May alone, the same BOC office collected only P2.12 billion, about P950 million less than its revenue target for the month, which totaled P3.07 billion.
Despite the shortfall, the BOC cited its Naia unit for having generated “incremental revenues” with the installation of four new X-ray machines at the facility.
In a statement, the bureau disclosed over the weekend that the X-ray units had detected nearly P1 million worth of highly taxable undeclared items like jewelry, luxury watches and designer bags, as well as various foreign currencies.
“So far, the X-ray machines have made significant headway in ensuring that duties and taxes are properly paid, and at the same time prompted the seizure of undeclared contraband,” it said.
Aside from the Naia, two other X-ray machines have been installed at the Clark International Airport in Pampanga and the Kalibo International Airport in Aklan.
Customs has allocated P145 million for the purchase of an undisclosed number of additional X-ray machines.
Julito Doria, officer in charge of the BOC’s X-ray Inspection Unit, said the additional X-ray machines will enable customs personnel to better detect contraband smuggled in by airline passengers.
“They will also allow our personnel to release luggage faster and improve the traveling experience of passengers,” he said.
Improving customs processes at the country’s international airports is one of the priority projects of Commissioner John Phillip Sevilla.
In April, the agency scrapped the Customs Declaration Form for arriving international passengers with nothing to declare.
The BOC also plans to install closed-circuit television cameras at the international airports.
“Initially, the first batch of CCTVs will be put up at the Naia,” said the BOC.
For its part, the Manila International Airport Authority (Miaa) said at least 34 companies had signified their intention to participate in the bidding for the CCTV surveillance systems at Naia Terminals 1, 2, 3 and 4.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.