Customs chief blames lean season for shortfall



Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon offers a host of reasons for a P7.83-billion shortfall in targeted revenue collections in the first three months of the year.

But hope springs eternal.

The first quarter, he said on Sunday in a text message to the Inquirer, is “traditionally a lean season”—a period that “comes immediately after the high-demand Christmas season and the slowdown during the Chinese New Year.”

“In addition, stricter measures were implemented in March to target traders who undervalue and misdeclare, making those who play the ‘cat and mouse’ game to adopt a wait-and-see attitude,” he said.

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) had set out to collect P76.3 billion during the period, but netted only P68.5 billion.

Calls for Biazon’s resignation were made earlier this month following a disclosure by Petron CEO Ramon Ang that massive smuggling of oil products had cost the government between P30 billion and P40 billion in lost revenues annually.

Commentators say the figure cited by Ang matched deficiencies of around P50 billion in annual collection targets.

Last week, Malacañang said Biazon continued to enjoy the trust of President Aquino, meaning the customs chief is not going to be sacked any time soon.


In the meantime, the former Muntinlupa representative is considering re-jiggering his graft-infested bureau.

“The evaluation of our port personnel’s revenue collection performance will be included in the assessment of who will be moved in the next round of customs reshuffle,” Biazon said on Sunday.

He noted that “the movement of officials to assignments where they would be most effective is paying off.”

“We may have found the right chemistry among our officials to enable us to meet our collection target for 2013 although it remains to be seen as we progress through the year…. I won’t hesitate to undertake more rounds of reconfigurations should I find it necessary if only to ensure our meeting our collection target this year,” he said.

In March, the bureau failed to reach its target with collections of only P21.09 billion, or P6.91 billion short of its P28-billion goal for the 31-day period.

In a report, a copy of which was furnished the Inquirer, the bureau disclosed that during the first quarter, only five of its 17 collection districts met their revenue targets—the Subic Freeport, Clark International Airport,  Cagayan de Oro, Cebu and Iloilo.

A good year

The bureau blamed globalization, trade liberalization, and a sluggish international trade, as well as the strong peso, for the steady decline in its revenue collections.

Despite the shortfalls, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima cited the agency, saying “2012 will probably be remembered best as the year when the BOC’s public image began to improve dramatically as demonstrated by the results of the recent public trust ratings survey conducted by Social Weather Stations.”

The same year will also be remembered as “the period when its efforts to prosecute smugglers finally resulted in convictions,” Purisima said.

“And although 2012 revenue collections fell short of the annual target, the bureau still managed to produce a 9.3-percent increase with total collections reaching P289.85 billion compared to P265.1 billion in 2011,” he noted.

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  • randyaltarejos

    Why did the BOC fail to meet its target collections? Because of the animosity that was created inside the BOC right now, some officials and employees assigned to sensitive duties have remained lax in their duties. They didn’t care if the BOC would meet its target or not. Or my suspicion is real that many of these corrupt officials have started to pocket more bribes in preparation for any eventuality like the proposed dissolution of the BOC. They didn’t mind collecting enough tariffs for the government, but to their pockets.

    • farmerpo

      I cannot agree more….. ants preparing for the rainy season. Soon, St Luke’s Detention Center For the Corrupt will be fully booked.

    • leomar101

      Since when did the BOC meet its target? hahaha.It’s been 3 years now that the 2000 container van which were missing then was investigated. Are there any findings? what was the result of its investigation? tsk tsk tks. Harap harapan yan na naglakbay ang mga vans sa tuwid na daan. hahahaha.

  • PinoyPower1

    The most important information is in the last paragraph of the news item.

    The BOC actually increased its collection for the whole year of 2012 compared with 2011 from P 265.1 Billion to P 289.85 Billion.

    I have no doubt, the Customs under Biazon will have an even bigger collection this year 2013.

    More power!!

  • $17531445

    Does Purisima also have statistics on the rate of increase, or decrease for that matter, in smuggling for the same period?

  • kobe

    Number one in smuggling in the whole world is now the Philippines good job!

  • Noriel Bernabe

    Reasons why people are happy under noy’s govt (VOTE FOR TEAM MALAYSIA).

    -Almost 10% of out Nat’l budget is loss each year due to corruption
    -Recent study showed corruption perception in the government is high hampering economic growth
    -Noy bloated budget of each congressmen’s PDAF while cutting budget on education
    -Almost a hundred of noynoy’s political allies have pending corruption charges in the office of the ombudsman (Even COA wrote to legislators most from noy’s liberal party questioning the use of their PDAF).
    – unemployment rate increased by almost a million despite of gdp “growth”
    – More than 1 billion was loss because of the unaccounted CCT
    – 32 billion pesos estimated loss revenue due to rice smuggling
    – P3.6 billion in loss revenue due to missing container vans
    -30 to 40 billion loss due to oil smuggling
    -Very low FOI inspite of the president’s juncket trips abroad and noy’s claims of billion dollar investments
    -the much vaunted PPP has no project to show off after three years
    -philippines lags compared to other ASEAN nation when it comes to FDI
    -2011 Philippines was named as worse country for investors (East ASIA)
    -Philippines lags in terms of infrastructure compared to its ASEAN neighboring countries
    -Many people from Mindanao were killed by flood due to cancellations of existing flood projects under noy’s admin
    -5 million and 30 million were donated by noynoy to MILF and ABB this happened after MILF ambused our soldiers in mindanao.

    Estrada (July 1998- Jan 2001) 3.1
    Arroyo (Feb 2001 – June 2010) 3.8
    Aquino (July 2010 – June 2012) 19.6

    (Based on IMF’s Direction of Trade Statistics)

    • koolkid_inthehouse

      I’m just wondering if your data is availabe during the previous administration? No smuggling cases during Estrada and Arroyo years?

  • vaporub123

    less talk,less mistakes. if again on the 2nd quarter,the traget won’t be reached,i am sure mr.biazon had prepared reasons for it.baka sasabihin ay ” ngayon mali ang chemistry ng mga opisyal nya at kailangan pang i-reshuffle muli.” i would suggest for him to just shut up and do his work diligently at baka mapapahiya sa next quarter.

  • XY ZEE

    True to form, this administration always finds a way to blame everyone and anything but themselves.
    It’s pathetic that the practices of accountability and responsibility are glaringly absent despite the much-hyped mantra of “tuwad na daan”

  • andy bonifacio

    A target is only a target. it is only a presumed amount given to the finance department to feed what congressmen ask to fund their pork barrel . Let us not forget the more relevant and actual achievement of ” the bureau still managed to produce a 9.3-percent increase with total collections reaching P289.85 billion compared to P265.1 billion in 2011″ . This taking place under Pinoy and Biazon. Let us not blame it or glorify the issue of the creation of animosity, if that is waht you want to avoid then learn to live with corruption. We should just be thankful somebody dared to stand up and say enough is enough. To those who complained about corruption and who continue to live complaining like armando doronilla, ano ba ang kayang mong gawin?

  • kilabot

    ruffy, like noykapon, is a hopeless case.
    he doesn’t get it once,
    he doesn’t get it twice,
    he doesn’t get it at all.
    ruffy and noykapon are like the boston checkhen brothers,
    seem regular guys, but so much wrong inside the head.

  • kevinmcn

    Blaming it on a strong peso? I would think that a strong peso would mean that imports would be cheaper, which should therefore translate to increase in demand of imports.
    Where do they get these guys, do they even think before they open their mouths?

  • Maldi2

    HIndi kaya kasalanan ni GMA din ito? Tanong lang naman. Wag naman natin sisihin ang lean season.

  • Weder-Weder Lang

    Ruffy Biazon will not quit BoC. That’s because he’s not winnable in 2016. His only source of income from hereon until 2016 is BoC. If he doesn’t get as much as he can, he’ll end up shirtless and penniless sometime in the future. Of course Ruffy Biazon will come up with all sorts of excuses why he’s such a failure in BoC. He is after all a castrated commissioner. No more balls due to his long-standing prostate ailment.

  • david

    dami namang rason. magbitiw na kasi para naman yung me kaya gumawa ng maayos ang mailagay. si danny lim nalang.

  • jack_bagbaga2011

    talaga naman ah, itong si komisyoner biazon ay walang katapusan sa kanyang paninisi sa kanyang incompetence

  • sandra martines

    Naala n’yo pa ba. Si Rene Cayetano, nanghuthut ng 3 milliion shares ng
    BW kay Dante Tan noong 1999. Naibenta na nya sa halagang P64 million pero di
    man lang nagbayad ng utang nya kay Dante Tan hanggang noong mamatay sya noong
    2003. Grabe!

    • ApoNiLolo

      Naalala ko ang sinabi ng nanay ko na huwag sumali sa usapin kung hindi alam ang paksa. Dahil hindi ka lang mag mumukhang tanga, baka isipin ng iba na bastos ka.

  • Marian Cosner

    Marami na nga isinagawang probe sa smuggling sa Senado, pero napansin n’yo sumali sa investigation ang Cayetano siblings. No!

  • $14334231

    ha…ha…ha….don’t make me laugh, biazon!!!!!…..hahaha!!!!…..

  • disqusted0fu

    As usual, Biazon results to the primary go-to move of this Aquino administration… BLAMING. When all else fails, just look for something or someone to blame. That seems to be the motto of this administration. Incompetency at its worst.

  • disqusted0fu

    It’s crazy that after having smuggling of rice, oil, cars, etc. all at its peak in 2012 Purisima still declares that it’s the best year of BOC. Maybe what he really meant is that it was the best year of the BOC in getting all these smuggled products in the country. If that’s what he meant, then no one can argue that fact.

  • Tommy

    I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t really been keeping up with this, but expecting ANYONE to wipe out smuggling syndicates that have been entrenched for decades in only a few years is ridiculous.

    Not to say that he shouldn’t be doing better, but calling for people to resign at the first sign of failure helps nobody.

  • Guest

    punta kayo sa access road ng northview 1 sa batasan hills. linggo-linggo doon nagtatalikuran yung container van at mga truck para magsalin ng mga laman ng container van.
    kung legal yun, bakit hindi sa mga warehouse mag-unload ng mga deliveries/imports.
    kung totoong tumaas kita ng BOC, mas mataas pa kaya sana?

  • speedstream2

    During lean months, why doesn’t the BOC lean hard on its employees to lessen their “activities” and lean reasonably hard on importers so the shortfall will not fall quite short?

  • Ako_Hiking

    Biazon…you are better than that. Don’t resort to the style and tactics of Aquino by making excuses. Good you are enjoying the trust of the President but the truth is Customs is suffering from lack of improvement. Either you are not doing a good job or you have not been receiving the support needed from Malacanang. Customs needs fixing, but the problem is that is has not fixed because proper attention has not been properly paid to it.

  • Albert Einstien

    he he com biazon..i like you there but be TRUTHFUL naman…simula umupo ka IBIG sabihin LEAN SEASON…kelan ka po ba NAKA-GOAL kahit isa je..constructive criticism lang po…..SIBAKIN mo na sabi po yang mga COLLECTOR..IILAN lang yn DAMAY kayo lahat..lagi pa nababanatan si GNOY2.wala sya GINAGAWA…inu-una pa pangangampanya sa kamag-anak nyang si BAM kesa TRABAHO nya..GRABE….

    • Adam_d_langgam

      lean season means matumal ang “kita” .. mind you hindi ng gobyerno ha….hayaan mo comm biazon, at ilang buwan na lang pasko na naman. for sure gaganda ang “kita” mo nito.

      walang sinabi ke alvarez ito si biazon. si alvarez wala pang isang taon 2000 container vans na ang nawala. ano na nga pala balita dito? as usual since tao ni noytard, nawala na sa balita. billions ang niyari. hanep …..

  • koolkid_inthehouse

    Biazon lacks management skill and leadership. Can’t even force staff to retire that’s overdue for retirement. He keeps telling us all the alibis.
    PNOY, there are competent, honest people who can manage and straighten BOC.

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