‘Jagger’ eyes ‘cash bonus’ for Bureau of Customs under attrition law

January 16, 2019

Customs commissioner Rey Leonardo ‘Jagger’ Guerrero is making good on his word of seeking cash incentives to bureau personnel and officials for surpassing last year’s revenue target with an excess collection of more than P660 million.

A memorandum by Guerrero to Finance secretary, Carlos Dominguez, dated January 8, 2019, disclosed the customs chief has requested that 15% of the excess collection be set aside as ‘rewards and incentives fund’ (RIF) “which shall be automatically appropriated for payment of the rewards and incentives due to BoC (Bureau of Customs) personnel.”

To combat corruption while rewarding good performance, Congress, in January 2005, passed RA 9335 or the ‘Attrition Law,’ which grants cash bonus to the BoC and the BIR as a percentage of their surplus collection thru the establishment of the RIF.

If granted, this would be the second time that BoC personnel would received any cash bonus for good revenue performance under RA 9335, the first being in 2008 or 11 years ago, after the BoC surpassed its collection target for 2006.

Last year, collection data submitted by the BoC to the Bureau of Treasury disclosed it collected P585.542 billion from its assigned target of P584.881 billion.

The surpassing of last year’s revenue goal also came despite the BoC registering a shortfall of more than P6.486 billion in its revenue goal for November of P56.873 billion, triggering speculation from critics of another disappointing collection year for the agency under Guerrero.

Guerrero replaced Comm. Isidro Lapeña in October after another drug smuggling scandal.

In an earlier talk with this writer after receiving the news that the BOC had surpassed last year’s target, Guerrero said that while he does not want to raise the expectations of BoC personnel he “will definitely recommend the award of incentives” to the DoF.

In his memorandum, the customs chief also asked that the Revenue Performance and Evaluation Board (RPEB) make the final determination as to the excess collection on the basis of the cash operations report (COR) of the Bureau of Treasury, net of the tax remittance advise (TRA) and tax subsidy.

He added that the bureau’s ‘Rewards and Attrition Working Group’ (RAWG) is already working on the mechanics as to how the money would distributed to all customs personnel as well as the district/unit incentives for submission and approval by the DoF