Customs collection target slashed to P542 billion for 2020

Mary Grace Padin - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) has slashed the collection target of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) for 2020 due to the economic fallout from the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 pandemic.

Based on a memorandum issued by Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero, the BOC’s revenue goal for full year 2020 has been revised lower to P541.7 billion from the original target of P731 billion.

Guerrero said the DBCC made the adjustment “in view of the revised (macroeconomic) indicator and lower gross domestic product growth as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The interagency body, after its meeting in May, expects the economy to shrink by two to 3.4 percent this year.

The latest figure is worse than the DBCC’s previous projection that GDP could register zero percent growth or contract by 0.8 percent this year.

Sought for more details, Customs assistant commissioner Vincent Philip Maronilla said the DBCC set the BOC’s 2020 target at P520 billion. Another P21 billion was added to cover the tax refund applications pending in the bureau.

Maronilla said the bureau’s revenue performance so far was not as bad as expected despite the COVID-19 crisis. He said collections are expected to pick up as early as the third quarter.

“So far, we’re doing okay. We had a negative 17 percent collection growth in January to May despite the very low volume and trade activity during the pandemic,” Maronilla said.

“We’re expecting to bounce back since most of our trading partners have already loosened up their restrictions abroad and even us. Everybody else is coping with the ‘new normal’ in terms of trade practices so we’re expecting to bounce back maybe around third or fourth quarter,” he said.


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