DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Tariff and customs duties collection at the Port of Davao exceeded targets by 115.5% in the first 9 months of this year, data from the Bureau of Customs (BOC) revealed.
Total collection between January and September 2017 was P11.68 billion, surpassing the assigned target of P10.11 billion in the same period.
Erastus Sandino Austria, Port of Davao district collector, attributed the surplus to the growing local economy.
“The local economy is picking up,” he told a press conference on Thursday, September 29.
The Port of Davao’s collection target for this year is P13.74 billion, and to reach that, it would need to hit the P2.066-billion mark.
“We’re pressured to meet the target, but most likely we will see an increase,” said Austria.
The BOC has been stepping up to increase its collection capacity at the Port of Davao which is comprised of the Sasa International Seaport, Francisco Bangoy International Airport, among others.
The Port of Davao is among the provincial ports that has consistently surpassed collection targets. In 2014, along with Subic, Batangas, Aparri, Iloilo, Cebu, and Cagayan de Oro, they surpassed revenue collection targets by P13.96 billion.
This week, Austria said it has sought Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña’s help to look into the possibility of relocating an unused x-ray machine sitting inside a private container yard which the government had a 25-year contract with.
He said the equipment would ease the inspection workload of the agency.
“We can use that machine and transfer it to a different area so we can use it,” he explained.
The government was in dispute with Aquarius Container Yard (ACY) when in 2010, former Customs Collector Anju Nereo Castigador accused yard owner Rodolfo Reta of refusing to examine containers, prompting him to padlock the Designated Examination Area of ACY.
Reta questioned this before the Ombudsman. Years later, Castigador was dismissed along with other Customs officials. (davaotoday.com)