The Philippine Bureau of Customs (BOC) has kept its growth momentum this year, generating P27.4 billion of revenue in February, an increase of 21.93% from P22.471 billion in the same period last year.
However, the February figure was lower than the agency’s P30.184-billion target.
For the first two months of the year, BOC revenue grew 21.65% year-on-year to P57.189 billion from P47.011 billion, but 7% lower than the P61.492-billion target.
Growth was achieved despite a slight dip of 1.42% in the volume of importations in February compared with the same month in 2013, amidst a three-day trucking holiday initiated by truckers in protest to the implementation of the Manila truck ban, the BOC said in a statement.
“The sustained growth of our collections is strong evidence that we are moving in the right direction,” Customs Commissioner John P. Sevilla said. “But our job is far from over, and we remain focused on structural reforms which will deliver even stronger growth, more efficient processing, and transparency in the future.”
The BOC said four months after rolling out President Benigno Aquino’s reform program for the bureau, revenue collections from November 2013 to February 2014 registered an average 20.4% growth rate over the comparable period in 2012 and 2013.
This is a significant improvement from the pre-reform period growth of 4.9% in January 2013 to October 2013.
Of the 17 ports, only five exceeded their targets for February: San Fernando (P127 million), Batangas (P6.238 billion), Subic (P1.048 billion), Cebu (P1.167 billion), Cagayan de Oro (P642.8 million) and Davao (P620.7 million).
Sharing the bulk of total revenue were the Manila International Container Port (MICP) with P6.892 billion, Batangas, and Port of Manila with P4.806 billion.
Batangas outperformed its P5.628 billion target for February while MICP and POM lagged their respective targets of P8.728 billion and P6.44 billion.
The Port of Aparri has not yet reported since January.––Roumina M. Pablo