This has reference to Tina Santos’ news report titled “Shortfall in revenue reaches P6B in Customs regional ports” (Across the Nation, 8/4/16).
Paragraphs 9 and 10 thereof stated: “During that month, two ports outside Metro Manila suffered hundreds of millions of pesos in losses—port of Limay, Bataan province at P1.36 billion and Batangas port, P500.6 million.
“The losses continued in May, reaching a total of P8.8 billion.”
The article has demoralized the workforce of the Port of Batangas. We did all we can to really hit the collection target every month, keeping in mind the principle of fast and efficient service that I laid down upon my assumption as the officer in charge of this port.
In July, we saw to it that importations arriving in the Port of Batangas were released as soon as they arrived by personally asking importers to immediately file their import entries and pay the duties and taxes due on their shipments. We also saw to it that at the end of the month, only a few remained unpaid. The estimated total collectibles from these merely amounts to a little over P284 million; even if we were able to collect these, still, we could not hit our target of P9.163 billion for July. We collected P6.6 billion though, and we have nowhere to get the remaining amount to hit our collection target.
It is for this reason that I requested the commissioner of Customs to reduce our collection target and reset the target based on the 6.9-percent GDP growth.
Our Revenue Collection Performance for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016 would show that for the current year, we exceeded our collection target in the months of March by more than P209 million and June by P833 million-plus.
We will be giving justice to the personnel of the port if we can also highlight their accomplishments for the months of March and June 2016.
To those interested, please feel free to visit the only ISO-certified port in the country (the Port of Batangas) and see for yourselves how your servants in this part of the country are doing their best to make sure that its world-class standards are maintained.
—REYNALDO M. GALENO, officer in charge-district collector, Port of Batangas, Bureau of Customs
Editorial cartoon, August 18, 2016