By Betheena Kae Unite
The improved collection performance of the Customs bureau was lauded by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez Tuesday as the bureau posted a 33-percent growth in revenue for the first six months of the year.
Dominguez acknowledged the improvements in the Bureau of Customs (BOC) revenue after collection grew by 33 percent in 2018 during the interagency Development Budget Coordination Committee at the House of Representatives.
“The first six months of 2018 registered a strong fiscal performance as both revenues and expenditures surpassed respective targets, which resulted to a deficit of P193 billion, or 27 percent lower than programmed… BOC, on the other hand, grew its collection by 33 percent topping its target by 3 percent,” Dominguez said.
The Finance chief added that BOC’s improved collection was “due to the combined factors such as weaker peso, higher oil prices, higher import volumes, proper valuation, and tariff classification of goods, as well as strengthened campaign against illegal trade that has contributed to the sustained impressive performance of the bureau.”
In 2017, the Customs bureau has also improved its revenue collection by 15.6 percent, the highest revenue collection growth since 2012.
“Overall, we have achieved a strong tax revenue growth rate of 13.6 percent in 2017. This is due mainly to the more efficient tax collection as well as administrative reforms carried out in our two main revenue agencies,” Dominguez reported.
Dominguez also emphasized the contribution of Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law amounting to P33.7 billion in revenues for the first half of the year.
The TRAIN Law which was implemented at the start of 2018 has raised P19.3 billion in the collection of the BOC and P14.4 billion for the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
The Finance Secretary said he is banking on both the BOC and BIR in order to achieve a 12.7-percent growth in revenues next year as the “national government aims to raise the total revenues of P3.2 trillion for 2019.”
“We expect revenues to grow by 12.7 percent in 2019. Tax revenues will increase by 12.7 percent with BIR and BOC expected to post collection growth by 13.1 percent and 11.3 percent, respectively,” Dominguez said.
Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapena, on the other hand, expressed optimism on the revenue collection of the bureau.
“The Five-Point Priority Program will be implemented rigorously to enhance our revenue collection in 2018. I am optimistic that we will meet our annual target because the reforms that we are making are slowly gaining ground,” Lapena said.
The bureau has an annual revenue collection target of P598 billion this year.
Lapena furthered that the BOC is up for the challenge of raising the revenue target in 2019.