BOC Cebu collects P31.28B in 2019, falls short of target

Carlo Lorenciana

THE Bureau of Customs (BOC)-Port of Cebu collected P31.28 billion in customs duties in 2019, short of its target due to lower than projected import volume.

Last year’s collection posted a 4.11 percent shortfall of the agency’s P32.62 billion goal for 2019.

However, the 2019 tax take surpassed the collection in 2018 by P2.094 billion, said Conrado Abarintos, collection division chief at BOC Cebu.

“Projected volume of imports did not materialize. But despite the lesser volume, the port collected more than in 2018,” the customs official told SunStar Cebu Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020.

Aside from the lower import volume, the stronger peso against the US dollar also affected the collection growth.

The importation of crude oil remained the biggest contributor to BOC Cebu’s tax take in 2019.

Abarintos said the top import commodities last year were oil, steel, coal, frozen foods and meat.

For 2020, BOC Cebu is tasked to collect P36.98 billion.

The Port of Cebu makes up most of the total goal at P30.01 billion while the subports in Mactan and Dumaguete account for the remaining collection target at P1.20 billion and P5.78 billion, respectively.

Meanwhile, Cebu’s top importers during the first half of 2019 were SeaOil Philippines Inc. (P1.958 billion), Steel Asia Manufacturing Corp. (P1.172 billion), Ecossential Foods Corp. (P742.535 million), Kepco SPC Power Corp. (P574.380 million), Joyland Industries Corp. (P550.868 million), Cebu Energy Development Corp. (P519.679 million), Apo Cement Corp. (P474.259 million), Taiheiyo Cement Philippines Inc. (P468.120 million), Cagayan Corn Products Corp. (P418.497 million) and Cebu Oversea Hardware Co. Inc. (P282.620 million).

In 2018, BOC Cebu collected P29.125 billion in customs duties, surpassing the target of P26.436 billion for the year.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that the country’s imports from January to November 2019 fell by 4.6 percent to $99.2 billion from $103.9 billion in 2018.

Nationwide, the BOC’s collection reached P630.571 billion in 2019, up 6.3 percent from 2018’s P593 billion, but it still fell short of its P661 billion target for the year.

For this year, the agency has set a P731 billion net collection target.