“We’re looking at a value of about P1.5 million per 20-foot container, which means a levy of at least P300,000 per container,” Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima said at the agency’s anniversary rites held in Cebu recently.
“On the assumption that there are at least 2 million inbound containers that are subject to value-added tax and duties, that’s P600 million.”
Purisima said that for increased collection to materialize, Customs needed to invest in upgrading its information system.
He said the government must reconcile its trade data with those of other countries.
“For example, data from China show that two-way trade with (the mainland) is valued at $32 billion, but our books show it is only $16 billion,” he added.
“We’d like to work with the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and other bilateral partners to reconcile these numbers,” he said. “I’m sure that if we’re able to reconcile these numbers, we’ll be able to set a benchmark that will give us a good chance in improving customs performance.”