Bureau of Customs grows 22% in February amid reform efforts
Government continues to register primary surplus at P28.4 billion
I am pleased to note that the Bureau of Customs grew 22% in February, its second monthly growth above 20% and its fourth straight double-digit growth since the President’s Customs Reform Program normalized in November. The country’s deficit figure improved by 17% from the previous year, as government revenues grew at 7% in February, faster than the 5% growth rate of expenditures. Netting out interest payments, the national government continued to register a primary surplus of P6.1 billion in February, bringing the year-to-date surplus to P28.4 billion.
The President’s Customs Reform Program continues to unlock the growth potential of the Bureau of Customs, and is a continuing narrative of how good governance translates into good economics.
BOC registers growth rate above 20%
In February, the national government collected P120.3 billion, growing at 7% in February, bringing the year-to-date figure to P269.1 billion. As of February, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) garnered P57.2 billion, growing 22% while the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) collected P182.5 billion, growing at 8% from the comparable figure last year.
January-February interest payments decline to 23% of spending
Government expenditures meanwhile grew 5% in February, bringing the government’s January to February expenditures to P313 billion.
Given proactive liability management efforts of government, interest payments in February decreased by 11% compared to the same period last year. As a percentage of expenditure in the January to February period, interest payments improved from 26% in 2013 to 23% in 2014.
DOF continues push for transparency and accountability
Good governance and anti-corruption remain to be the top priority of the Aquino administration. In just the first quarter of this year, the DOF’s anti-graft arm, the Revenue Integrity Protection Service, was able to secure eight suspensions and dismissals of BIR and BOC personnel found to be living beyond their means.
The Aquino administration continues its commitment to doing systemic reforms in its revenue generating agencies through transparency and accountability measures. Aside from the monthly public disclosure of all import transactions by the Bureau of Customs, the DOF also made local government unit (LGU) fiscal sustainability scorecards available for public viewing via Iskor ng ‘yong Bayan (iskor.blgf.gov.ph), an initiative to make local treasurers and assessors accountable to the public for their local fiscal management.
The DOF continues to push for the following bills which will improve the country’s fiscal sustainability: the tax incentives management transparency and accountability (TIMTA) act, the rationalization of fiscal incentives, the reform of the fiscal regime for mining, and the customs modernization and tariff act (CMTA).