Customs to give unrealistic goal ‘our best shot’By Jerry E. Esplanada
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon is not one to give up.
The Bureau of Customs chief asserted that despite the unrealistic collection goal of P347 billion set for the BOC this year, the agency was not giving up on meeting its target.
In a text message to the Philippine Daily Inquirer Thursday, Biazon said his bureau would give it its best shot.
“I will only give up pushing my people to collect more revenue to meet our 2012 target on the last working day of the year,” he said.
“The optimist in me tells me not to give up,” he added.
Biazon described the bureau’s collection target as “stretched,” making it difficult to meet.
Earlier, he had told reporters that “higher targets are set for the Bureau of Customs to collect more revenue. But we should try to understand that these are stretched.”
He said the bureau was made to “look bad every time we missed our monthly targets although we were able to surpass these targets year on year.”
Time to review targets
He said it was “about time we review the targets… we need to adjust how we look at performance. We might not have to adjust specific goals, but we should try to understand that these are stretched.”
Biazon has repeatedly urged the interagency Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) to set a more realistic revenue target for 2013.
The DBCC, which determines the revenue targets of both the BOC and Bureau of Internal Revenue, has set a collection goal of P397 billion for the BOC next year, up P50 billion over this year’s target.
Biazon cited monetary fluctuations, international trade conditions, smuggling and corruption among the several factors that prevent his bureau from meeting its target.
From January to September this year, the BOC collected P213.3 billion
against the P257.05 billion that it should have already taken in. Last month’s over P7-billion deficit widened the collection gap to P43.7 billion to date.
The head of one of the BOC’s top collection districts, meanwhile, also described the agency’s revenue target for this year as “too high.”
Port of Clark International Airport collector Edward de la Cuesta told a BOC media forum earlier this week that “previously, our annual national target was only seven to 15 percent over the previous year’s.”
“But now it’s a very high 30 percent. It’s really not doable,” he said.
De la Cuesta noted that Clark “has been meeting its target the past four years, due mainly to our close monitoring of import procedures, among other things.”
“But, nationally, it’s another story. Other customs collection districts are having a hard time meeting their targets,” he said.
Biazon said he would step up the BOC’s drive against smuggling through its Run After the Smugglers or RATS program.
“We’re also trying our best to improve the bureau’s image. It can be done, first, through good performance and, second, by conveying the positive image to the public,” he said.