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BOC ‘confident’ of breaching P1 trillion tax take in 2024

After overshooting 2023 target by P10 billion

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THE Bureau of Customs is unabashed in claiming it can add more than P1 trillion to the government’s coffers in 2024 after breaching the P900 billion mark in the year just ended.

BOC spokesperson and Assistant Commissioner Atty. Vincent Maronilla, during his guesting at the ‘Bagong Pilipinas Ngayon’ edition on January 1, 2024, also pointed that for 2023, the bureau has recorded a surplus collection of P10 billion after turning in a historic revenue take of P901 billion, which is over P100 billion more compared to the P765.59 billion in revenue assigned to it at the start of 2023.

“Na-achieve po namin ito by – iyong ginawa po naming streamlining ng mga process namin and of course, ini-improve po namin iyong revenue efficiency namin, we tried to locate iyong mga loopholes namin and we tried to plug it, through some scientific methods na amin pong pinagtulung-tulungan, together with some private sector representatives like the Ateneo School of Government and iyong mga stakeholders po namin,” Maronilla explained.

Maronilla also credited the performance of the country’s so-called ‘Billionaire’s Ports’ for performing above expectations in terms of revenue generation.

“Fifty percent of the collection of the Bureau of Customs, ano na kaagad ho iyon ‘no, that’s the Manila International Container Port (where) 30 percent po ng volume namin and about 30 percent of our target comes from.

“Dadagdag po diyan iyong Batangas Port, nasa mga bentesingko porsiyento po ng aming collection ay nanggagaling diyan. And, of course, the Port of Manila, which is mga around 18 to 20 percent nanggagaling naman po (ang tax collection),” the official said.

Other major ports that contributed to the high collection of the BOC include the Ports of Cebu, Davao and Cagayan de Oro, Subic, Clark, Ninoy Aquino International Aiport, Legazpi, Tacloban, Iloilo and San Fernando, he added.

The BOC’s impressive performance came despite the abrupt changes in its top leadership with two customs commissioners appointed by Pres. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in a span of less than a year since the start of his administration.

Former BOC Enforcement and Security Service (ESS) director Yogi Filemon Ruiz, was the first commissioner appointed by Pres. Marcos last July 25, 2022, but served only until February 13, 2023, when he was replaced by former BOC Port Operations Service (POS) director, Bienvenido Rubio, the current customs chief.

Regardless, veteran waterfront watchers noted that the changes in leadership failed to dent the agency’s performance with the BOC’s over P901 billion tax take in 2023 under Rubio even topping the already record-high collection in 2022 of more than P862 billion under Ruiz.

Citing the success of the reform measures being implemented by the agency under Rubio, Maronilla did not bat an eyelash in expressing confidence that the BOC can “even surpass” the P1 trillion collection mark by the end of this year.

“If we continue on our track to improve further ‘yung revenue efficency namin at pag-improve ng aming processes… we are projecting to collect PHP1 trillion and I think, we can even surpass it,” he said.

For one, Maronilla noted that the BOC’ continuing digitalization program is now at “99 percent.”

“May entities na di pa nila kayang mag-interlink sa system ng BOC. Tinutugunan po namin ‘yan para makumpleto ‘yung inter-linkage natin dyan.

“For 2024, now that we have digitized the processes, our goal is to integrate these processes so that we can only have one cohesive process in implementing these improvements,” Maronilla added further (with added reports from the PNA).

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