Home » Customs & Trade, Ports/Terminals » BOC first-quarter collection falls 12.8% short of target

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) collected P145.41 billion from January to March 2020, a slight improvement of 2.28% over last year’s P142.17 billion, but 12.76% lower than its target of P166.69 billion.

With most economic activities in Luzon grinding to a halt in the latter part of March as a result of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), BOC collections in March alone amounted to only P44.8 billion, P4.79 billion less than P49.59 billion year-on-year. It is also 22.78% or P13.22 billion short of the March target of P58.02 billion, the Department of Finance (DOF), BOC’s mother agency, said in a statement.

The government began implementing on March 16 the ECQ in Luzon to slow the spread of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19); the ECQ has since been extended to April 30. Similar containment measures have likewise been implemented by local government units (LGUs) in other parts of the country.

BOC sister agency Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) took in a total of P455.45 billion from January to March 2020, 2.86% below the actual amount of P468.86 billion collected for the same period last year. The latest figure is also 22.86% short of the P590.43-billion target.

In March, BIR collections amounted to only P118.35 billion, 20.06% lower than last year’s P148.05 billion and 38% less than the P72.14-billion target.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said estimates by the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) show that if the economy posts zero growth this year as a result of the health, social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the decrease in revenues will be around P286.4 billion.

If growth is negative one percent, then the revenue decline is estimated at P318 billion.

The combined revenue goal of BIR and BOC for 2020, as set by DBCC, is P3.307 trillion. Of the target, BIR was expected to collect P2.576 trillion and the BOC, P731 billion.

“Our tax collections are definitely going to be a bit lower than our original target but as I said, these are things that we can finance,” Dominguez said. He said sound economic policies put in place since 2016 have given the government ample fiscal headroom to meet the challenges of COVID-19.

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