THE Bureau of Customs (BoC) said modernized processes helped it collect additional revenue of P237.38 million in the eight months to August.
The revenue-enhancing policy changes were the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA), as well as the Empty Loadout Shipping Agreement (ELSA) implemented at the port of Manila, the BoC said on Thursday.
The revenue was generated specifically via the disposal of 893 overstaying containers, of which 318 were auctioned, 519 condemned, and 56 donated to various government agencies.
Appointed in July, Commissioner Yogi Filemon L. Ruiz directed ports to accelerate the disposal of all forfeited and abandoned goods through the modes allowed under the CMTA, the BoC said.
“Under Customs Administrative Order 9-2019 implemented by Customs Memorandum Order 18-2022, empty container yard depots which is a type of Customs Facility and Warehouse (CFW) shall be required to undergo an accreditation process for more effective supervision and control by the Bureau,” the BoC said.
“In addition, to ensure that only legitimate importers and brokers transact with the BoC, the accreditation of importers and brokers whose shipments were issued Warrants of Seizure and Detention are automatically suspended,” it added, noting that the suspension of accreditation may be lifted and shipments released, provided that importers and brokers subject themselves to strict monitoring by the BoC.
In coordination with Asian Terminals, Inc. and the Association of International Shipping Lines (AISL), the BoC at the Port of Manila also implemented ELSA, which is designed to free up terminal yards hosting empty containers at the Manila South Harbor, for loadout and repositioning in other countries.
In the Port of Manila, the BoC said container disposals amounted to 262, of which 87 were auctioned and 175 condemned.
A task group that coordinates with AISL and truckers was also formed by the BoC to address issues on the return of empty containers.
“A study is currently being undertaken on the proposal to automate the monitoring of movement of containers, particularly its return to the concerned shipping lines to further prevent congestion,” the BoC said.
The BoC said that the Electronic Tracking of Container Cargo remains operational “to ensure the integrity of the transfer of containers and prevent diversion.”
“The system enables the real-time monitoring of inland movements of containerized goods using an Information and Communications Technology-enabled system such as the GPS-enabled tracking device to secure its transport to the intended destination.”
The BoC has said its collections for the first eight months amounted to P559.2 billion, surpassing the collection target by 35.6%.
Earlier this month, Budget Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman said that P3.56 billion of the 2023 proposed national budget will be allocated to digital transformation programs of the BoC and the Bureau of Internal Revenue, accounting for 28.6% of the proposed P12.4-billion budget for information and communications technology projects.
Last month, the Bureau said that 91.8% of its 170 processes have been automated.
The World Bank is supporting the digitalization of the BoC through a $88.28-million facility for the Philippine Customs Modernization Program.
“Meanwhile, the shipping line charges and warehouse charges are beyond the jurisdiction of BoC as it is a private contract between the owner of the shipping lines or warehouse and the user,” the BoC said. — Diego Gabriel C. Robles