BOC fails to meet revenue goal in 2013, gets higher target in 2014
Manila, Philippines – It may be a bitter pill to swallow, but the Bureau of Customs (BOC) is up to the challenge to meet a higher revenue target of P408 billion for the new year despite failing to meet its P340-billion goal last year.
BOC Commissioner John Sevilla poses no objection to the increase of P68 billion in the 2014 revenue goal, in what many observers say might be a mission impossible.
Rather, he intends to look on a farther horizon.
“To ask for a lower target is a waste of time. Knowing DOF (Department of Finance)…whether our target is P300 or P400 (billion) we should collect as much as we can,” Sevilla said.
Setting a higher target, Sevilla said, is one way to drive the agency to collect more revenues for the government.
“If we would spend very valuable time arguing appropriateness of the target, I would rather spend the time trying to collect as much as possible and trying to push reforms,” the BOC chief said.
An informed source said that Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC), an inter-agency body which determines the revenue target of BOC, set the collection goal of P408 billion in a meeting held last Dec. 18.
“At first, the target was reduced to P324 billion from P340 billion then it became P350 billion. But DOF Secretary (Cesar) Purisima wanted a higher target so it was set at P408 billion,” the source said.
The higher goal this year, despite BOC’s failure to meet its P340-billion target in 2013, was pegged on the assumption of a more robust economic activity.
When asked about the revenue goal for each port, the official can’t say how much their targets are and only surmised that these are too high even as volume of imports was down.
On the contrary, Sevilla is surrendering to the collective wisdom as he believes that DOF has basis in coming up with the figures.
“I don’t know how they did it but I have worked with these people. These are the people I respect and they would not pull these numbers out of thin air. I will just accept it,” he said.