BOC overshoots August collection target by 34%
The Bureau of Customs (BOC) again overshot its collection target in August amid tax administration improvements and gains from expensive oil.
In a statement Sunday, the BOC said it collected P78.9 billion in import duties and other taxes last month. The actual take was 34.1 percent higher than the P58.8 billion goal, the BOC said, citing a preliminary report from its financial service.
It was the eighth straight month this year that the country’s second-biggest tax-collection agency exceeded its monthly targets.
The BOC said last month’s tax take included P77.9 billion remitted by the country’s 17 collection districts at the ports of entry. Another P248.2 million came from post-clearance audits of imported goods. The BOC also generated P677.4 million via the tax expenditure fund (TEF) covering government importation.
In August, “all 17 ports surpassed their targets and cumulatively achieved a P15.8-billion or 25-percent surplus through intensified collection efforts under the present leadership,” the BOC said.
According to the BOC, Customs Commissioner Yogi Filemon Ruiz had ordered district collectors to “plug revenue leakages,” which included outright smuggling as well as technical smuggling such as misclassification, misdeclaration, and undervaluation of import shipments.
From January to August, the BOC’s collections totaled P559.2 billion, up 35.6 percent from the P412 billion it collected during the first eight months of last year.
“The collection performance of the BOC and its 17 collection districts, under the leadership of Commissioner Ruiz, is attributed to the intensified collection efforts, streamlined, digitized, and modernized systems and the improving economy resulting in higher volume of imports,” it said.
Last July, the BOC’s tax revenues hit a monthly record-high of P84 billion as import values surged, especially of oil products. The Philippines is a net oil importer.
The Cabinet-level Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) expects goods imports this year to grow by 18 percent as both the volume and value of imported products surge on the back of economic reopening which boosted domestic consumer spending as well as skyrocketing global commodity prices due to the prolonged Ukraine-Russia war and pandemic-induced supply-chain disruptions, respectively.
As of end-June, imports jumped 26.7 percent year-on-year to $68.3 billion, the latest Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data had shown.
As such, President Marcos’ economic team had tasked the BOC to collect P722 billion for the entire year, bigger than the original P679-billion goal for 2022, to reap a tax windfall from costly fuel imports.
Last month, Ruiz expressed optimism that the BOC would exceed this year’s larger “internal” collection target amounting to P740 billion.
Ruiz had said the BOC could shore up collections as it ramped up its anti-smuggling drive.
Last year, the BOC surpassed its P616.7-billion goal as it collected P643.6 billion. In 2020, the P537.7-billion import duties and taxes it generated were also higher than its P506.2-billion target.