Subic Freeport P6.68 billion income recorded by BIR and BOC

Jason de Asis


SUBIC FREEPORT ZONE, Zambales, February 15, 2011-A joint cash collections by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) here allowed the Subic Bay Freeport Zone to remit P6.68 billion to the national treasury last year.


“Our revenue collection in 2010 topped the 2009 record by 19.25 percent, or a surplus of P1.08 billion,” Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) administrator and CEO Armand Arreza said, adding that the collections last year also topped Subic’s 16-year revenue collection record.


“For the year 2010, both collection agencies pegged their goal at a total of P6.14 billion, and performance-wise they surpassed it by 8.72 percent, or a total of P535.5 million,” Arreza furthered.


From January to December 2010, the BOC posted cash collections worth P4.97 billion, thus exceeding the 2009 record of P4.67 billion by 6.5 percent.


“The BOC also posted last November the highest monthly collection it ever made in this free port: a total of P501.6 million. This was 52.7 percent more than the P328 million posted in the previous year,” he said, saying that the Subic revenue district posted collections worth P1.71 billion last year, a performance that also made it the district’s all-time high, as it recorded a 15.73 percent surplus over its goal of P1.47 billion.


SBMA records showed that the BOC cash collections were derived from duties and taxes paid for ship calls, transshipment operations, and the importation of various inputs, including oil, motor vehicles, and other general merchandise, adding that these are separate from non-cash collection derived from government-to-government transactions, which amounted to P3.42 billion a figure 16 percent higher than the 2009 figure of P2.88 billion.


Meanwhile, BOC officials attributed the increase in Subic revenue collections to the Enhanced Automated Cargo Transfer System (e-ACTS), which ensures fast, safe, synchronized and secured cargo transit between Subic and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), as well as the Port of Manila and the International Container Port Terminal.


Introduced in mid-September 2010 as an electronic protocol in lieu of face-to-face transactions, the e-ACTS not only boosted Subic’s campaign against smuggling and diversion of cargo, but also enhanced the collection of proper Customs duties and other revenues.


Arreza noted that the BIR still managed to increase its collection performance in Subic even as a new tax collection scheme implemented last year allowed the SBMA to collect part of the 5 percent corporate tax paid by Subic-registered investors.


“This means that SBMA was successful in widening our tax base in Subic, as we take in more investments and create more jobs,” Arreza explained, pointing out that the new scheme facilitated the direct release by the SBMA of revenue shares to local government units that are classified as either “contiguous” or “affected” under Republic Act No. 7227, which created the SBFSEZ.


“About half a million residents of the eight beneficiary LGUs adjacent to the free port would benefit from the revenue share,” Arreza ended. (Jason de Asis)


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