Customs revenue growth slows sharply | Inquirer Business

Customs revenue growth slows sharply

Misses 4-mo target despite 22% jump in collections

Bureau of Customs (BOC) building INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

The Bureau of Customs missed its collection target for April as revenue growth slowed sharply to less than half of the previous month’s expansion despite a slew of reforms implemented by its new chief.

In a statement Monday, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said revenues were up 13.4 percent to P30.76 billion in April. The growth was slower than March’s 34-percent expansion. The BOC was also P5-billion short of its target for the month.


“Revenue growth slowed down in April on account of less number of working days—at 19 versus 21 days in April 2013,” the BOC statement read.


The bureau also blamed the implementation of the truck bank in Manila that “affected collections in the Port of Manila and the Manila International Container Port, the country’s largest customs ports in terms of volume.”

For the January-to-April period, revenues were up 22 percent year-on-year to reach P117.27 billion. However, this was behind the four-month target of P130.57 billion.

Despite missing its targets, the BOC remained optimistic, noting that the increase in collections from a year ago was the result of “continued process improvements, and tighter watch over imports and import values of goods.”

At the Port of Manila, the BOC missed its P7.5-billion collection goal by about P2 billion. At the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT), revenues were short by P1.4 billion of the collection target.

The BOC continued to outperform its bigger sister agency, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), which also missed its target for April as revenues grew by only 4.78 percent. Neither the BOC nor the BIR, which are the government’s main revenue agencies, have met any of their monthly targets since the start of the year.

Since taking office in December following his predecessor’s resignation, Commissioner John Philip Sevilla has overseen reforms at the BOC that have resulted in a sharp increase in collections.


Among these reforms included the posting of detailed data on imports online and the stricter accreditation of customs brokers. Sevilla also aims to modernize the BOC by developing a system that allows all transactions to be done electronically.

Moody’s Investor Service earlier this month praised Sevilla’s reforms at the BOC, saying these would bolster the country’s case for a fresh credit-rating upgrade in the next 12 to 18 months. Moody’s rates the Philippines at its minimum investment grade, but has had the country on “positive” watch since October 2013.

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TAGS: Bureau of Customs, Business, tax collection

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