Home » Customs & Trade » PH Customs posts surplus in first half

THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) collected P15 billion more in the first half of the year but fell short of its P137.9-billion target for the period.

The agency generated record-breaking cash revenues of P126.1 from January to June compared to P111.1 billion for the same months last year.

Except for February, cash collection in each of the months during the first half reached the P20-billion mark, something that was not achieved during last year’s first half.

BOC collected P20.53 billion in January, P18.58 billion in February, P23 billion in March, P21.38 billion in April, P21.32 billion in May, and P21.1 in June.

Customs commissioner Angelito Alvarez said the agency failed to reach its first-half cash collection target because of “appreciation of the peso, the high utilization of tax credit certificates and the reduced, if not zero, duties being enjoyed by hundreds of products due to the country’s compulsory compliance with our various international, multilateral and bilateral agreements like AFTA (ASEAN Free Trade Agreement), ACFTA (ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement) and JPEPA (Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement).

“Nearly 2,000 products that until June last year were considered traditional big revenue sources for the BOC now come in duty free or with reduced tariff as a result of various free trade agreements and government’s social amelioration initiatives.”

Big-ticket items now zero-rated are petroleum products, cereals, plastics, iron and steel, paper and paperboard, fertilizers and cement.

As a result, six of the country’s billionaire ports, so-called for their ability to collect a billion pesos in duties and taxes every month, incurred deficits of up to P6 billion.

The Manila International Container Port missed its first-half target of P38.4 billion by more than P5 billion, and the Port of Manila its P31.6-billion goal by P4.6 billion.

The oil port of Batangas posted the highest deficit of P6 billion after collecting P23.3 billion against its P29.3-billion goal.

The Port of Manila missed its target by P4.6 billion.

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