Customs tops P300 B

Still short of goal but Palace buys time for Bureau head

MalacaÑang on Saturday appealed to the public to give Customs Commissioner John Sevilla and his deputy Jessie Dellosa a time to work out their job amid reports the bureau exceeded the P300-billion collection milestone but still fell short of its goal.

“Admittedly, they still have many things to do on their jobs, so let’s give them time to form their team and they can perform their work as a group based on the mandate of the President,” Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said on DzRb-Radyo ng Bayan Saturday.

Sevilla and the rest of his team “are all taking note of everything that comes out, of all the reports that come out,” Valte said.

She said that if there are administration allies involved, the government has remained “impartial” in dealing with them.

We will just have to make sure of the “best evidence” on the issue, Valte added.

The Customs chalked up P303 billion as of Thursday, December 26.

“These are all cash collections,” an official said. “The revenues from the tax expenditure fund (TEF) are not yet included. The collections would still increase once the revenues from the ports on Friday (Dec. 27) come in.”

TEF is the paper revenues of the agency from the importation of government agencies such as the National Food Authority, National Police and the Armed Forces while revenues in the form of cash are the actual collections from the 17 ports.

So far, Customs posted P23 billion collection as against its P27.9 billion assigned target for December.

Overall, the agency was way off its 2013 goal of P340 billion.

“The ports performed well in closing the year. Breaking the P300-billion mark is a significant achievement for BoC,” the official said.

The official, however, refused to give the breakdown of collection per district, citing the “gag order” imposed by the bureau’s Revenue Collection and Monitoring Group (RCMG).

The RCMG recently imposed a gag order on the release of any report about the revenue collections and it only authorized bureau’s Public Information and Assistance Division (PIAD) to make official announcement regarding collection report.

The entry of imports for the Christmas holidays was able to offFor 2014, the Development Budget and Coordination Committee tapped the Customs bureau to gemerate P408 billion, or P68 billion more than its assigned target in 2013.

Sevilla was banking on a renewed campaign against smuggling plus a sustained upswing in the economy to produce results in 2014. With Joel Zurbano



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