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THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) is insisting it should be given revised revenue targets for 2008 with the continued appreciation of the Philippine peso.

Customs commissioner Napoleon Morales said the bureau is asking the Department of Finance (DOF) to be more reasonable in setting targets as the peso is expected to be much stronger this year.

Market forecasts place the local currency at 40 to a dollar in 2008.

Morales said that for every P1 appreciation against the US dollar, the bureau loses P3 billion in revenues.

“We want the target to be the same as last year,” he explained.

Key considerations

The DOF said the strengthening of the peso would be taken into account in deciding whether the target should be revised. It said the impact of unrealized economic assumptions on revenues should be offset by improving efficiency of collection and efforts to stamp out corruption both at the BOC and the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the two main revenue generating agencies of the government.

Last year, the BOC missed its target collection by more than 6%, bringing in only P213.58 billion for 2007 compared to the P228.2-billion target.

Documents showed that 11 of the 15 collection districts missed their targets. Four of the 15 are major ports – the Port of Manila, Manila International Container Port, Batangas and Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

The Port of Manila collected P68.76 billion in import duties and taxes, 7.9% short of its goal of P74.68 billion.

The Manila International Container Port turned in P53.5 billion, lower by 6.3% than its P57.12-billion target.

The Port of Batangas contributed P43.12 billion, also 13.6% short of its target of P49.89 billion. NAIA generated P16.45 billion, 3.5% off its target of P17.05 billion.

Other ports short of their targets were Iloilo, Cebu, Tacloban, Surigao, Zamboanga, Subic and Clark.

Only four ports hit their targets — Legaspi, Cagayan de Oro, Davao and San Fernando.

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