Ruiz sets P1-trillion ‘internal target’ for Customs

Following the higher than expected revenue haul this year, Customs Commissioner Yogi Filemon Ruiz said he was looking at P1 trillion as his aspirational target for the government’s second largest tax agency.

On the sidelines of the the Manila Bulletin Hotseat interview on Tuesday, Nov. 22, Ruiz disclosed his “P1 trillion internal target” set for himself as chief of the Bureau of the Customs.

Ruiz’s internal target is way above the Development Budget Coordination Committee's (DBCC) yearly expected revenue collection from the Customs bureau in the next three years. The DBCC is an inter-agency body that sets the government’s macroeconomic assumptions.

The bureau is tasked by the DBCC to collect P765.6 billion next year, P803.2 billion in 2024, and P863 billion in 2025.

Meanwhile, Ruiz said Customs’ higher than expected collections this year continued to snowball, hitting P758.28 billion as of Nov. 17.

He said the latest collection report was 18.6 percent or P119.13 billion over the target for the period.

“The bureau posted a total collection of P44.378 billion from November 1-17, 2022. This is 22 percent or P8.016 billion over the target for the period,” Ruiz said.

According to the official, the improving collection performance was driven by imports of oil products, motor vehicles, foodstuff, iron and steel as well as coal.

“Based on a preliminary report, all collection districts of the bureau reached their respective collection targets, garnering a surplus of P16.8 percent or P103.29 billion as of Oct. 31,” Ruiz said.

Meanwhile, the Customs chief reported that their digitization efforts continue, noting that since he took office in July, the bureau has implemented three information combination and technology systems.

First is the ASEAN Customs Declaration Document System (ACDD), which is used as advanced information to enhance Customs risk targeting and profiling activities.

“The availability of the ACDD parameters would provide better visibility to various intelligence, enforcement, and monitoring systems of Customs. We will hold a Ceremonial Launch on Nov. 23, 2022,” Ruiz said.

He also implemented the National Customs Intelligence System (NCIS), a web portal that stores data from all the intelligence sources via webforms and excel format.

“With this, the Intelligence Group will be able to view all the data uploaded on the portal and generate reports according to the filters selected,” he said.

Lastly, Ruiz said the bureau has upgraded its Payment Application Secure 6 (PAS6).

“PAS6 is a new payment system that is connected to the E2M system. The added feature ensures the accurate and immediate exchange of transaction information on the assessment details of payable duties and taxes,” the Customs chief concluded.