The Bureau of Customs collected P20.224 billion in duties and taxes in January, exceeding by P216 million its assigned revenue goal for the month.
Preliminary data coming from the Financial Revenue Division of BoC revealed that the agency’s January collection was P2.62 billion or 14.9% percent more than what it earned during the same period last year. The P20.224 billion collected this month was the second highest monthly cash collection in the history of BoC. The highest was recorded in July 2010 (P21.5 billion) and the third highest was attained last December (P20.185 billion), all under the watch of BoC Commissioner Angelito Alvarez.
Commissioner Alvarez said this higher-than-expected collection performance augured well for the BOC whose assigned revenue target of P320 billion this year was 14 percent higher than its P280 billion collection goal last year. The Bureau’s Cash Collection target for 2011 is P64 billion higher than what was projected for last year while the 2011TEF is P24 billion lower than last year’s target.
Alvarez attributed the rise in revenue to reforms in the agency which “apparently have started to produce the desired results.”
“In fact,” said Alvarez, “the positive impact of the fundamentals for revenue enhancement which we started to put in place middle of last year was felt as early as November and December when revenues rose to P19 billion and P20 billion, respectively, up by at least P3 billion over the Bureau’s average monthly collection in 2009.
The changes mentioned by Alvarez included the abolition of non-performing units, merger of those with duplicating functions, nationwide implementation of the electronic to mobile (E2M) system, strengthening of BOC’s Valuation Reference Information System and improvement in Customs Bonded Warehouse Management.
Alvarez also credited the Bureau’s improved collection performance to its revitalized campaign against smuggling. Last year, the agency’s Run After the Smugglers (RATS) team filed 25 cases, with a combined claim of P52 billon even as the Bureau’s Intelligence and Enforcement Units conducted weekly seizures of undervalued or misdeclared goods. He said “these parallel activities have obviously convinced tax cheats that smuggling under the Aquino administration is no longer profitable.”