THE BUREAU of Customs (BoC) may be able to collect up to P400 billion this year, missing its annual revenue target anew, its top official has admitted.
Customs Commissioner Alberto D. Lina said the bureau may fall short of the P436.59-billion revenue target set for 2015, blaming cheap oil imports for poor collections. The projection, however, would still be slightly better than last year’s P369.28-billion actual collection.
“What’s doable is between P390 billion and P400 billion,” Mr. Lina told reporters in a briefing Monday night when asked whether the bureau is on track to meeting its target revenue collection this year. “I’ll be okay with P400 billion but if we’ll be able to collect more, that would be better.”
The customs chief said the target is difficult to achieve even if imports of non-oil items were to rise, since they are “not enough to offset the forgone revenues due to lower oil prices.”
“Losses due to lower oil prices could reach P75 billion by December, based on the projection,” Mr. Lina said, adding that oil prices — currently at around “$60 per barrel could still go down to $50-per-barrel.”
Average crude prices have fallen from June 2-30 to July 1-20: Dubai has slipped to $60.06 per barrel (/bbl) from $61.94/bbl; West Texas Intermediate, $56.75/bbl from $59.83/bbl; and Brent, $61.22/bbl from $63.75/bbl.
Customs collections, he said, is 70% from non-oil imports and 30% from oil.
The bureau exceeded its collection target for the second time this year last month on the back of both higher volume and value of imports, according to preliminary data released last week. Collections in June totaled P31.23 billion, up 14.3% from the P27.33 billion recorded a year ago. The total was likewise 4.2% above the bureau’s P29.97-billion target for that month, marking the second time in 2015 it exceeded collection goals.
The bureau last March also breached its target by 2%, collecting P35.72 billion against a P35.02-billion goal.
Cash collections in June — generated mainly at ports — grew 14.3% annually to P31.23 billion from P27.23 billion, topping a P29.345-billion target.
Collections from non-oil imports grew 29.1% year-on-year to P5.9 billion, while those on oil imports declined 28.5% to P2 billion as a result of persistently low prices in the world market.
June’s total brought customs collections to P178.36 billion last semester, 11.8% short of that period’s P202.185-billion target and up just 2.9% from P173.40 billion in 2014’s comparable six months.
With the latest tally, the BoC is still P258.23-billion short of its P436.59-billion goal for this year.
Last year, the bureau saw its collections grow 21% annually to P369.28 billion, though still 10% short of a P408.1-billion target.
The bureau contributes about a fifth to the government’s total revenues.
Former Bureau of Customs chief John Phillip P. Sevilla had said last December that the bureau would miss its initial target of P456 billion for 2015, describing the goal as “impractical and unrealistic.” That target was then trimmed to P436.59 billion during the April 7 meeting of the interagency Development Budget Coordination Committee. — Imee Charlee C. Delavin