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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

‘Efficient’ collection at ports brings BoC January take to P47 billion

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THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) collected P47.143 billion in January, exceeding its target for the first month of the year by 6.92 percent.

The BoC said preliminary report from its financial service unit shows the bureau breaching its P44.092-billion goal amid an economic recession.

The BOC attributed its “efficient” collection performance to its “intensified efforts” in all of ports along with the improvement in the volume of importation “and the government’s effort in ensuring unhampered movement of goods while maintaining border security and enhanced trade facilitation.”

Eleven out of 17 collection districts managed to surpass respective January 2021 collection targets: the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and the ports of Manila, Batangas, Legazpi, Iloilo, Tacloban, Cagayan De Oro, Zamboanga, Davao, Subic and Clark.

According to Finance Undersecretary and Chief Economist Gil S. Beltran, the Cabinet-level Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) approved in December a P616.7-billion target for the BOC this year.

This is significantly higher by 21.84 percent than the downgraded 2020 target set for the BOC at P506.15 billion.

The bureau’s total revenue collection last year reached P539.7 billion, above its annual revenue collection target by 6.6 percent or P33.5 billion. That is, if the BoC goal wasn’t downgraded by 30.76 percent from the original target of P731 billion.

The preliminary collection for January appears minute as the DBCC expects the country’s budget deficit this year to balloon to P1.78 trillion or 8.9 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

The government has yet to release the country’s official budget deficit data for December 2020. Finance officials have earlier said the “emerging” figure is at P1.36 trillion or 7.5 percent of government-projected GDP.

Despite slightly below government’s projected budget deficit for the year at P1.38 trillion or 7.6 percent of GDP, the “emerging” figure is more than double the budget deficit in 2019, which stood at only 3.4 percent of GDP or P660.2 billion.

As of end-November last year, the country’s budget gap has reached P1.069 trillion on the back of increased spending despite the drying up of revenue sources after the Duterte government imposed strict lockdown beginning March 17.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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