Import duties, taxes up in October
10-month Customs collections still down at P448.9B from P527.7B a year ago
The Bureau of Customs (BOC) collected P50.9 billion in import duties and other taxes in October, exceeding its downscaled revenue goal for the fifth straight month.
While the BOC’s actual collection was 5.2-percent higher than the P48.4-billion target for the month, the amount was still lower than the P57.7 billion it collected in October last year due to the pandemic-induced recession that slowed global trade.
Citing a preliminary report from its financial service, the BOC said in a statement on Tuesday that seven out of the country’s 17 ports surpassed their respective targets: Port of Manila, Batangas, Cebu, Clark, Limay, Subic and Zamboanga.
From January to October, the BOC’s revenues totaled P448.9 billion, down from P527.7 billion a year ago.
In a separate report on its website, the BOC blamed the lower year-to-date collections compared to last year to “decreased importation and the global price reduction of oil due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The latest Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data showed that cumulative imports from January to August slid 27.4 percent to $53.9 billion from $74.2 billion during the first eight months of last year.
The BOC is tasked to collect P506.2 billion this year, a smaller amount than the original prepandemic goal of P731 billion.
In a memorandum last September, Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero tasked the 17 district collectors to generate a total of P139.6 billion in revenues during the fourth quarter to hit the agency’s full-year target.
On top of its tax collections from shipments entering the country, the BOC also generated P952.2 million in additional revenues from January to Oct. 26 through its postclearance audit.
Importers suspected of violating certain provisions of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act undergo the BOC’s postclearance audits.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has also been exceeding its downscaled targets as it collected P1.42 trillion in taxes from January to September, which was 8.67-percent bigger than its nine-month goal of P1.31 trillion.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which had pushed the economy into a recession, the two biggest revenue agencies’ 2020 targets were slashed several times by the Cabinet-level Development Budget Coordination Committee—the BIR to P1.69 trillion from P2.58 trillion originally, while the BOC’s had been cut to P506.2 billion from P731 billion previously.
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