Duties on imported rice helped boost the Bureau of Customs’ (BOC) tax take, which grew 12.4 percent to P58.9 billion in September.
Preliminary data from the BOC’s financial service released on Wednesday showed that import duties and other taxes collected by the country’s second-biggest revenue agency (after the Bureau of Internal Revenue) climbed from P52.4 billion in September last year.
From January to September, the BOC collected a total of P477.5 billion, up 9.2 percent from P437.1 billion during the same nine-month period last year.
In its midyear report on the 2019 national budget, the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) attributed the BOC’s higher collections to date to a stronger actual foreign exchange rate compared to program, lower actual tax credit applications against program, lower actual deferred payments compared with the projected amount, and higher actual collections under the rice tariffication law.
Last week, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said that between March—the start of the rice trade liberalization—and mid-September, the government had already collected P10.7 billion in import duties.
Under Republic Act No. 11203, the following tariff rates apply: 35 percent if rice was imported from Asean countries; 40 percent if within the minimum access volume (MAV) of 350,000 metric tons, from countries outside Asean; and 180 percent if above the MAV and coming from a non-Asean country.
From the yearly rice tariff collections, P10 billion a year must be set aside for the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund, which is aimed at helping local farmers and traders affected by lower palay prices.
The DBCC also attributed the BOC’s increasing collections to “strengthened campaign against illegal trade and for revenue enhancement, and strong enforcement.”
The BOC had been tasked to collect P661 billion in tax revenue this year.
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Customs collections up by 9.2% to P477.5B as of end-September