Customs below target in September
MANILA, Philippines — The import duties and other taxes collected by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in September slightly slid, as the take from oil products continued to decline amid reduced global prices.
In a statement on Thursday, the BOC said its collections last September reached P32.7 billion, down 0.8 percent year-on-year and a fifth less than the target of P41.1 billion that month.
“The decline in [September] collection was due to the decrease in total [imports] value by 5.4 percent despite the increase in total volume of importation by 20.5 percent,” the BOC explained.
In September, revenues from oil dropped by a third to P6 billion from P9 billion a year ago. As for non-oil products, the taxes collected rose by 11.3 percent year-on-year, the BOC said.
At the end of the first nine months, the BOC’s total collections inched up by 0.9 percent year-on-year to P268.2 billion, although below the P314.2-billion goal for the period.
The BOC said that while the volume of oil imports jumped by a fifth at the end of September, the value slid by almost a third, bringing down nine-month collections by 32 percent year-on-year to P23.1 billion. The average price of oil during the period was 48-percent less than last year’s prices, it noted.
As both the volume and value of imported non-oil goods increased by 16 percent and 5.5 percent, respectively, during the first nine months, collections of duties grew 13.2 percent year-on-year to P25.5 billion as of end-September.
“Overall, the decline in collection was driven by the drop in the total value of imports by 1.8 percent despite an increase in volume by 17 percent,” Customs Commissioner Alberto D. Lina said.
The BOC chief nonetheless expressed hope that the BOC could still hit its full-year collection goal of P436.6 billion. “Preliminary figures for October are looking up, so we will strengthen efforts to meet targets by the end of the year,” he said.
Lina earlier said that the BOC—the second-largest tax-collection agency— would likely collect only P390-400 billion in import duties and taxes this year, as foregone revenues from cheaper oil have been projected to hit P75 billion. SFM
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