GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 5 June) – Customs personnel here have collected around P340.5 million in revenues in the first five months of the year as they noted a surge in fishery and agricultural exports from the area during the period.
Pendatun Alim, Bureau of Customs (BOC) port collector, said the amount is about 33 percent or P62 million higher than their targeted income of P227 million for the first half of the year.
He said such accomplishment is “far from what is expected” due to the volatile economy and other related factors.
“(But) before June came in, we already surpassed our first semester target. We’re currently doubling our efforts to maintain this trend until the end of the year,” he said.
Alim said their improved tax collection was mainly due to the noted increase in tuna exports from the city, especially during the first quarter of the year.
Aside from tuna, he said they also draw their collections from shipments of major export commodities from the area like pineapple, copra and banana.
A report released by the Department of Trade and Industry showed that the value of the country’s tuna exports, most of which originated from this city, reached a total of US$147.199 million from January to March this year.
The tuna exports, which includes fresh, frozen and preserved or prepared in airtight containers, increased by 3.98 percent from the US$141.564 million recorded in the same period last year.
Dubbed the country’s tuna capital, this city hosts six of the country’s seven tuna canneries and a number of small and medium processing firms.
The city’s tuna industry, which is one of the area’s top economic contributors, employs around 150,000 direct and ancillary workers form the city and the neighboring areas.
The BOC here posted total collections last year of nearly P600 million, which is a significant improvement from the P512 million that it collected in 2012.
The tuna industry contributed a substantial share to the port’s collections, making it the second top exporter and importer so far, next only to the pineapple industry.
Aside from the rising exports from the area, Alim attributed their accomplishment to the continuing reforms within their unit.
He said they specifically intensified their monitoring and crackdown in the last several months against smuggling and other related activities at the Makar or Dadiangas sub-port here.