THE Bureau of Customs (BoC) is seeking to postpone the full digitalization of its processes to 2026, citing procurement delays.
“We’re asking for 2026, just a little bit of an adjustment, because of some delays that we’ve experienced… we’ve been asked to at least restructure a little bit (and) give a little bit of an extension to the original timeframe,” Customs Assistant Commissioner Vincent Philip C. Maronilla told reporters.
“This is the first time we’re doing this together with the World Bank. Unfortunately, there are intricacies in our procurement processes and the procurement processes of the World Bank that there were adjustments that needed to be made, that caused a little delay,” he added.
Mr. Maronilla said the BoC is still “optimistic” about the progress made under its initial 2025 timetable.
“We still have 2024 and 2025, that’s two years. But if you base it on the original timeline and delays that have happened, that’s what we’re basing the 2026 extension on. Even if we’re able to implement it by 2025, there are other catch-up systems that we need to put up,” he added.
Mr. Maronilla said that the agency’s digitalization rate will be 98% this year.
“Right now, conservatively, we’re predicting we’re at that because some of the systems that we’re trying to finish up are systems we need to integrate with other agencies and other offices and are dependent on the level of preparedness of the systems of those agencies,” he added.
The remaining processes to be digitalized mostly have to do with port operations rather assessment, Mr. Maronilla said.
The Philippines Customs Modernization Project was approved by the World Bank in 2020. It aims to improve the efficiency of the agency and reduce trade costs.
Customs has reported collections in the 10 months to October of P739 billion, exceeding its target by 2.4%.
In October, revenue hit P78.616 billion, up 1.4% against target. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson