Customs collection in April exceeds target
MANILA, Philippines—The Bureau of Customs (BOC) collected P51.28 billion in import duties and other taxes in April, which not only grew year-on-year but also exceeded the month’s goal as global trade restrictions eased.
In a statement on Monday (May 3), the BOC said its actual tax take in April surpassed the P49.2-billion target by 4.2 percent.
“The collection includes additional revenues from the tax expenditure fund (TEF) collection of P121 million and post-clearance audit group (PCAG) collection of P13.65 million,” the country’s second-biggest tax collection agency said.
The BOC said 11 of the country’s 17 ports exceeded target collections in April–Aparri, Davao, Iloilo, Limay, Manila International Container Port, Port of Manila, San Fernando, Subic, Surigao, Tacloban, and Zamboanga.
In April 2020, the BOC’s collections slid by a third year-on-year to P34.4 billion, at the onset of the longest and most stringent COVID-19 quarantine in the region which froze 75 percent of the economy.
Back then, not only the Philippines but also many other countries around the world closed their borders and imposed restrictions on movement of goods amid lockdowns aimed at preventing transmission of SARS Cov2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
In the first four months of 2021, the BOC’s total collections reached P200.46 billion, up 11.5 percent year-on-year.
Its take from January to April was also 9.4-percent larger than the four-month program to collect P183.17 billion.
The BOC said included in its end-April collections were P219.34 million from TEF as well as P300.59 million from PCAG.
It had been tasked with collecting P616.7 billion in 2021, which Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero had said will be “attainable” amid normalizing global oil prices and expectations of 6.5-7.5 percent economic growth in 2021 to reverse 2020’s recession.