Home » Customs & Trade » Customs’ August collection down 16.8%

THE slow pre-Christmas season trade caused a 16.77% shortfall in the Bureau of Customs’ (BOC) August collection.

The bureau took in P22.23 billion compared to its goal of P26.71 billion in August. Of the total, cash collections accounted for P21.82 billion and the tax expenditure fund, P410 million. The two major sources of BOC income also missed their targets of P23.21 billion and P3.5 billion, respectively.

This marks the second straight month of revenue shortfall for the BOC, and it effectively wipes out the almost P7-billion surplus posted by the bureau for the first six months of the year.

The August take was also 0.9% lower compared to July’s P22.43 billion.

For January to August, the BOC took in P176.79 billion, P150 million less than the P176.94-billion goal.

Customs Commissioner Angelito Alvarez said the August shortfall may also be attributed to the shallow performance of key district collections such the Manila International Container Port (MICP), Port of Manila (POM), the oil ports of Batangas and in Limay, and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Alvarez is, however, optimistic income derived from the last few months of the year will help BOC hit its 2010 target of P280.68 billion.

For September, BOC has an adjusted goal of P26.65 billion, for October, P27.14 billion; November, P26.93 billion; and December, P23.1 billion.

Meanwhile, to plug the revenue shortfall, Alvarez said the BOC will maximize use of its x-ray scanning machines located at the MICP and the POM. The scanners are currently underutilized due to space considerations.

BOC officials will meet representatives of MICP operator International Container Terminal Service, Inc on September 17 and POM operator Asian Terminals, Inc on September 24 to ensure the machines are being used fully.

BOC collects a container security fee of $5 for every scanned 20-foot container and $10 for every 40-footer.

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