THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) is confident of meeting—even exceeding—its full-year tax collection targets on the back of higher tax volumes and improved efficiency in its operations.
BOC Assistant Commissioner and Spokesperson Vincent Philip Maronilla recently told reporters there is a possibility that the agency could collect over P900 billion this year, higher than the P874.2-billion target it has set for 2023.
“Our goal is not just to hit that. We have an internal goal of trying to hit more than the target. We’re trying to maximize as much as possible the surplus that we want to take; also we want to collect, knowing fully well that we’re in a position to contribute more. And Commissioner Rubio has set a very high goal internally for the Bureau,” Maronilla said.
October and November tax collections, Maronilla said, are good months for the BOC due to the higher volume of taxes. Historically, these “ber” months usually lead the agency to reach surpluses.
Meanwhile, the current conflict in the Middle East will not affect BOC’s collections, he said. In fact, if the conflict in the region would lead to higher prices, it would also mean higher collections for the agency.
The BOC official also expressed confidence that weather disturbances as well as work and school interruptions will not be a hindrance, as the agency can implement strategies such as employing a skeletal workforce for tax collection.
“Let’s say for example, if we miss one day of collection, that’s automatically about P3 to P4 billion. So if you provide us with three days, holiday or suspension of classes, we might provide, we might provide you with a solution to do skeletal workforce, but the other players in the release of goods might not be there,” Maronilla said.
The Barangay elections and long holidays, however, will be a challenge, Maronilla said. Still, he said, the BOC intends to recover lost ground in order to attain its collection targets.
“All efforts by the Bureau [are under way], and the Commissioner has directed the ports and has given instructions on some remedial measures that we can actually exercise,” Maronilla said.
Earlier, the BOC said its revenue collections from January to August rose by 4.24 percent year-on-year to P582.133 billion on the back of “enhanced” trade activities and “efficient” operations. The bureau collected revenues of P23.678-billion higher than the P558.455 billion it recorded in the same 8-month period of last year, according to its statement over the weekend.
Furthermore, the BOC said it has surpassed its mandated target collection for the January-to-August period of P567.740 billion by 2.54 percent or about P14.393 billion.
BOC attributed the increase in its year-to-date collections to “efficient customs operations, enhanced trade activities, and robust revenue collection measures” it implemented this year.