By: Maricel E. Burgonio, InterAksyon.com November 25, 2013 7:51 PM
MANILA - The Bureau of Customs failed to hit its revenue target for October, even as collections had risen for a fourth month from a year ago.
In a statement, the bureau said its revenues grew by 4.3 percent year-on-year to P27.86 billion last month. Despite the increase, collections in October were 8.7 percent short of the P30.7 billion goal for the month.
This brought the January to October tally to P252.49 billion, 4.9 percent higher than a year ago, but 10 percent shy of the target set by the inter-agency Development and Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC).
“While October is usually the month when importations surge due to the holiday demand, jitters caused by the swift changes at the agency have affected our collections," Customs chief Rufino Biazon said.
Biazon ordered a revamp of port collectors, transferring incumbent heads to a new office under the Department of Finance (DOF). The affected collectors had challenged the revamp in court, but failed to get a stay order.
Following their court debacle, the affected collectors have since transferred to the new DOF office.
"But as the situation stabilizes, we are optimistic that our revenue growth will rebound to double-digit level. Note that despite the changes that have occurred of late, we managed to keep our collections on the positive level,” Biazon said.
Final numbers reconciled with the Bureau of Treasury show that cash collections from Customs' port operations reached P26.56 billion, while revenues from the Tax Expenditure Fund (TEF), which are non-cash collections recorded on paper for government transaction such as rice importations by the National Food Authority, reached P1.3 billion.
Ten of the 17 collection districts exceeded their collection targets for October.
The Manila International Container Port (MICP), Port of Manila and Batangas Port continued to contribute the lion’s share of collections with a combined P19 billion raised last month.
To date, six of the B17 collection districts -- Iloilo, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Subic and Clark -- are on track to meet their full-year targets.
For November and December, the DBCC has set collection targets of P31.057 billion and P27.998 billion, respectively, for Customs.