BOC sustains above target collection in Jan.

The Bureau of Customs, the government’s second largest tax collection agency, said it has exceeded its collection target for January due to heightened border controls and strengthened anti-smuggling program.

In a statement, Customs Commissioner Yogi Filemon Ruiz said the bureau’s revenue haul reached P70.33 billion in January this year, 12 percent higher against the P62.91 billion target for the month.

Ruiz also said that Customs’ tax take rose 20 percent year-on-year from P58.34 billion in January 2022.

“The BOC sustains its positive performance by heightening border protection measures and strengthening the BOC Anti-smuggling Program to ensure optimal lawful revenue collection,” Ruiz said.

Moreover, Customs’ modernization and initiated policy reforms to combat fraud and corruption while ensuring efficient trade facilitation in the country also boosted the agency’s collection efficiency, he said.

Ruiz cited that for January alone, the bureau conducted 36 apprehensions and seized approximately P908.137 million worth of various commodities in violation of the Republic Act No. 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).

Among the seized goods were P794.463 million worth of smuggled agricultural products and P104.833 million worth of illegal drugs.

January’s positive collection performance of the Customs bureau follows its higher than expected tax haul last year.

In 2022, the BOC ended with the highest annual revenue collection in history amounting to P862.929 billion, exceeding its target of P721.52 billion by 19.6 percent.

Revenue collection last year also surpassed by 34.1 percent the P643.562 billion revenue collection in 2021.

In 2023, the Customs bureau is tasked to generate P901.3 billion.

This includes P570.3 billion in value-added taxes from imports, P207.4 billion worth of excise taxes, P105.1 billion in import duties and P18.5 billion from other fees.

BOC's collection will help bridge the national government’s projected budget deficit of P1.45 trillion for 2023, equivalent to 6.1 percent of the country’s economy, or gross domestic product.