Customs’ 2018 collection goal slashed
Due to the delay in the implementation of the fuel marking system—which is aimed at stopping oil smuggling and, thus, jacking up the government’s tax take—the Department of Finance has cut the Bureau of Customs’ collection target for 2018 to P584.9 billion.
Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said on Monday that the fuel marking scheme, regarded as a public-private partnership initiative since the government tapped a private firm to roll it out, would be implemented in 2019, most likely in February. The target implementation schedule was set following the recent completion of the bidding process.
Fuel marking is among the tax administration measures that form part of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act, which took effect in January this year.
However, the contract for the fuel marking program was awarded only last October to the joint venture of SGS Philippines Inc. and Switzerland-based SICPA SA.
Based on the contract, fuel marking will cost P0.06884 a liter.
In a Nov. 15 memorandum to all district collectors, Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero said the DOF had allowed a P10-billion reduction in the BOC’s 2018 revised target of P594.9 billion after the country’s second biggest-revenue agency lodged an appeal.
The BOC was initially programmed to collect P581.3 billion in import duties and other taxes, but the Development Budget Coordination Committee had jacked up its target by P13.6 billion based on expected additional revenue to be collected from oil products with the implementation of fuel marking.
Given that the BOC still has to collect an additional P3.6 billion to meet its end-2018 goal, Guerrero said the 17 collection districts covering air as well as sea ports nationwide have to collect a total of P53.7 billion, including the tax expenditure fund (TEF), in December.
“At this point, I would like to congratulate the performance of the collection districts that has led to a year-to-date surplus of almost P15 billion [as of mid-November]. However, we cannot afford to rest on our laurels until the last working day of the year and in fact all district collectors are enjoined to strive harder to increase their collection efforts that will redound to a bigger surplus for the bureau,” Guerrero said.—BEN O. DE VERA
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