Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said the country is now more open for business with the implementation of the Authorized Economic Operator Program, one of the four key components of the World Customs Organization SAFE Framework of Standards.
Diokno, speaking during the BOC Stakeholders’ Night at Rizal Park Hotel on March 17, cited the Customs’ ongoing efforts such as the 8-Point Priority Program for 2023 that intensifies border protection and enforcement efforts and the Authorized Economic Operator Program.
The program aims to promote seamless movement of goods among WCO members through secure international trade supply chains.
“The effective implementation of this program sends a strong signal to the business community and our international partners that the Philippines is open for business,” Diokno said during the event.
He acknowledged Customs’ stakeholders such as importers for their compliance and cooperation with tax authorities, which allowed the BOC to faithfully perform its duties.
“Your faithful compliance and active cooperation with customs authorities have enabled us to build trust, protect the country’s borders from illicit trade and smuggling, and collect lawful revenues that reflect the dynamism of Philippine trade and commerce,” Diokno said.
Customs’ Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio presented the agency’s plans and programs that are aligned with the Marcos Jr. administration’s priorities.
The Customs’ exceeded in 2022 its annual target with a collection of more than P862 billion, which was 34 percent higher than P643 billion collected in 2021.
The Bureau’s collection districts also surpassed their individual revenue targets in 2022, marking the first time in BOC history that all ports exceeded their annual collection targets.
Diokno renewed his call towards the digitalization of the customs administration to facilitate tax compliance, boost revenue generation and inspire broader trust in the Philippine tax system.