THE Bureau of Customs (BOC)-Northern Mindanao has remained consistent in being one of the top revenue earners with a total collection of P9.7 billion last year, custom officials said.

The agency’s low collection in the early to mid-part of the year was attributed to the decrease in prices of oil in the world market.

While revenue collection was low from January to August, BOC-Northern Mindanao noted, however, it has recovered in the later part of 2016 owing to the oil price changes in the international market.

By September, the agency had collected about P168.97 million and the following month, P383.94 million.

The Mindanao Container Terminal (MCT) sub-port in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental, remained as the top revenue collector from among the region’s four major seaports.

Nash Guro, MCT sub-port collector, attributed this rebound to its persistent collection efforts mainly from importers which contributed to the bulk of the BOC-Northern Mindanao revenue earnings.

In 2015, the BOC-Northern Mindanao raked in a total of P9 billion, just 6.89 percent or P666 million short of its P9.672 billion target.

The aggressive effort of the agency’s Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) in going after smuggling in the region’s ports has also helped in realizing the collection target.

CIIS-Northern Mindanao acting chief Alvin Enciso said from P200 million, the unit earned in 2015 through seizures and forfeitures of imported contraband and smuggled goods, the amount went down to P19.5 million last year.

Enciso said that of the P19.5 million, P4.517 million was added to the collection of the BOC-Northern Mindanao.

“We have been stringent in all examinations for importations, and the higher-ups in Manila, including CIIS-CDO, have been positive and upbeat for 2016, because smuggling is being curtailed,” Enciso said.

He said anti-smuggling is part of the agency’s duty with revenue generation and trade facilitation as its topmost mandate.

Smuggling, he added, has an effect on the income of the BOC.

“When smuggling is down, revenue collection is up. That’s how it is,” Enciso said.

Among the items that were seized and forfeited last year were used clothing or “ukay-ukay,” truck replacement parts, and regulated items such as rice, sugar, mosquito coils, and second-hand television sets, among others.