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Philippines sees collections drying up as Asean 2015 nears
Publication Date : 10-10-2013
The Philippines' Bureau of Customs expects foregone revenues from declining tariffs on imported goods to rise by 10 billion to 15 billion pesos (US$231.7 million to $347.6 million) every year until 2015 as the Philippines and other Southeast Asian economies edge closer toward integration.
Foregone revenues hit about 40 billion pesos in 2010, about 50 billion pesos in 2011, and about 60 billion pesos last year, according to the agency.
Customs Commissioner Rozzano Rufino Biazon said the Tariff and Customs Code would have to be amended soon to offset the adverse impact of falling tariffs on revenue collection.
He said the reforms would allow the BOC to operate more efficiently boost and revenue collection.
The Code was last amended in 1978.
Already, a bill amending the Tariff and Customs Code has been filed in the 16th Congress, Biazon said. The BOC is now advocating for its passage.
The bill contains provisions to rationalise procedures in the BOC and reduce instances of face-to-face interaction between customs employees and importers.
The provisions are meant to reduce cases of corruption and smuggling, and boost revenue collection.
The Philippines and other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) are set to integrate in 2015. By then, there will be a free flow of goods and capital across borders within the region.
Under the Asean integration, a member economy is required to eliminate tariffs and other barriers to the entry of imported goods. Over the last few years, tariffs have been cut in anticipation of the 2015 integration.
Although the decline in tariffs would hurt individual economies in terms of reduced import-duty collection, proponents of the integration believe that, in the end, this will help boost economic activities and incomes across the region.
With the rise in trade among member-economies, more investments are expected to be generated, more jobs be created, and more people lifted out of poverty.