Customs modernization 82% complete

Published March 24, 2022, 2:57 PM

by Chino S. Leyco

The Bureau of Customs’ modernization program has automated and streamlined most of its processes and procedures in the last five-years, resulting in above-target collections despite the pandemic, the Department of Finance (DOF) reported.

In a report to Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III released by the DOF on Thursday, March 24, the Customs said the agency has automated and streamlined 139 or 82 percent of its 170 processes since President Duterte took office in 2016.

According to the bureau, the modernization program allowed the agency to collect P537.69 billion, which is 106.2 percent of its P506.15 billion goal at the height of the pandemic in 2020.

In 2021, Customs collected P643.56 billion, or 104.3 percent of its target of P616.75 billion for this period, and higher than its 2019 pre-pandemic collection of P630.31 billion, Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said.

Guerrero said revenue haul included P1.5 billion generated from its post-clearance audit of 342 companies and P895.95 million from 176 Prior Disclosure Program (PDP) applications.

He said that among the notable accomplishments of the customs modernization program is the integration of the Ports of Manila, Cebu, and Davao and of the Manila International Container Port (MICP) to the Customs Operations Center in Manila.

Guerrero also cited the full implementation of the World Customs Organization (WCO) Cargo Targeting System, which requires foreign carriers to electronically transmit cargo information in advance using manifest data for profiling, risk assessment, anti-terrorism, law enforcement, and other related purposes.

Dominguez congratulated the entire Customs for a “great job done” on the agency’s modernization efforts.

“Without your leadership, this modernization program would not have gone as far as it has gone, and your collections certainly would not have been as good,” Dominguez told Guerrero.

Guerrero said among the processes automated by the agency through its Information and Communications Technology (ICT)-backed projects is the submission, processing, and approval of applications of importers and exporters.