By Rea Cu, January 25 2019; Business Mirror

Image Credit to Business Mirror

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has expressed confidence that it will be able to hit its 2019 revenue collection target of P677 billion on the back of reforms that the agency will implement this year.

Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero said the Department of Finance (DOF) has raised the bureau’s collection goal by 15.75 percent, or P677 billion, compared to last year’s goal of P584.881-billion ceiling.

“For the target this 2019, our target for collection is P677 billion. This is the working target that was given to us by the DOF,” Guerrero said during the “Kapihan sa Aduana” news conference on Thursday at the BOC Headquarters in Manila.

He expressed confidence that the bureau will be able to hit its target for this year, as reforms are further being implemented in the BOC, which is reinforced by his 10-point priority program.

“We are confident of being able to hit this target. In fact, we sat down with the teams in the BOC last year to form a strategy on how we will be able to meet the targets. Part of the strategy is rationalizing the distribution of targets to district collection [offices], to make sure that their targets are attainable as far as the their capability to collect is concerned,” he added.

The Customs chief pointed out that the 10-point priority program is anchored on improving organizational efficiency, upgrading individual proficiencies and strengthening institutional capabilities.

“We will also implement responsive and accurate monitoring and supervision system to measure the day-to-day collection performance,” he said.

Customs Spokesman Atty. Erastus Sandino B. Austria also reported during the conference that the BOC has recorded revenue collections amounting to P592.869 billion as of December 28, 2018, surpassing its P584.881-billion collection target for the year.

“This is the first time that the BOC has exceeded its target in over two decades,” Austria said.

Of the total collections, P743.787 million was reportedly collected from nontraditional means, particularly through auctions that were conducted in various ports in the country.

In line with its border-security mandate, Guerrero said the BOC will be organizing its own Customs border-police force this year, which will comprise of 1,500 new recruits hired and trained by the bureau.

“In terms of enforcement, our plan for this year is to organize our Customs border police force. This will be a 1,500-strong police force that will be securing all the ports in the country. Right now, we are relying on the Philippine Coast Guard…with our border police force [as] this will improve our border security,” Guerrero added.