Customs surpasses January collection target by 2%

Agents from the Bureau of Customs – Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service inspected a sugar warehouse in Quezon City, Aug. 23, 2022. — COURTESY OF BUREAU OF CUSTOMS

THE BUREAU of Customs (BoC) said it collected P73.329 billion in duties in January, surpassing its target for the month and its collection a year ago.

Based on preliminary data, the agency said its January collection rose by 3.88% from P70.591 billion in the same month in 2023. It was also 2.16% higher than its P71.779-billion target for the month.

In a statement, the BoC attributed the higher collection to its “improved system of determining the customs value of imported goods, strengthened border protection, and concrete trade facilitation efforts.”

Customs Commissioner Bienvenido Y. Rubio said that the agency will be intensifying its collection efforts for this year.

“We are committed to working twice as hard to ensure that we not only meet but exceed our year-end revenue target,” he said.

This year, the agency is aiming to collect P959 billion.

Mr. Rubio in an earlier statement said that the agency is targeting to increase collections by 15-20% this year through “vigilant monitoring and continuous improvement of modernization projects.”

He cited key initiatives such as implementing an information and communications technology-enabled clearance system for express shipments. The BoC is also working on drafting administrative and memorandum orders for e-commerce to curb revenue leakages.

The agency is also aiming to strengthen border control, implement the National Customs Intelligence System to assist in anti-smuggling activities, and streamline processes to better facilitate trade.

Finance Secretary Ralph G. Recto has also ordered the BoC along with the Bureau of Internal Revenue to optimize their performance through “creativity, transparency, and efficiency in tax and customs administration.”

Earlier data from the Finance department showed that Customs collected P883.624 billion as of Dec. 31. This is 1.08% higher than its P874.166-billion target for 2023. This was also 2.46% higher than its P862.419-billion collection in 2022. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson