Customs revenues down in Sept but enough to beat target
MANILA -Revenues generated by the Bureau of Customs slightly fell in September, although collections were enough to beat the government’s target for the month.
Data released on Wednesday showed Customs raised P79.2 billion in September, down 0.38 percent compared with the same period last year when the bureau collected P79.5 billion.
This marked the fourth straight month of decline in collections that started in June, when Customs revenues fell 4 percent year-on-year.
But last month’s haul was enough for the bureau to exceed its goal of raising P76.45 billion for September by 3.64 percent, figures showed.
At the same time, Customs said it surpassed its nine-month revenue target of P644.2 billion by 2.57 percent. From January to September, the bureau netted P660.716 billion, up 3.44 percent year-on-year.
Customs mainly generates its revenues from import levies. These collections historically account for a fifth of government revenues every year.
Explaining its performance, the bureau said it implemented “effective customs operations, increased trade activity and rigorous revenue collection efforts.”
Customs also reported it conducted 730 antismuggling operations that resulted in the seizure of P35.96 billion smuggled goods.
But for Leonardo Lanzona, economist at Ateneo de Manila University, the four consecutive months of decrease in Customs revenues could be a symptom of a “slowing” economy as weakening consumption translates to lower imports.
Lanzona also flagged proposals to lower rice tariffs, which is a major source of funds for government programs meant to help farmers affected by the Rice Tariffication Law.
“The plan to reduce rice tariffs can lead to lower rice prices as rice imports may increase, thus benefiting consumers. However, it can limit the government’s ability to support the farmers,” he said in a Viber message. INQ