MANILA, Philippines?The Bureau of Immigration raked in more than a billion pesos in revenue during the first six months of the year despite the drop in tourist arrivals brought about by global economic crisis.
Immigration Commissioner Marcelino Libanan made the announcement during a command conference over the weekend with immigration area directors in Cebu City where the bureau?s top field officials pledged to meet their revenue targets.
Libanan said he was pleased that the bureau still managed to surpass its income target in the first half even if there were fewer foreigners who entered the country during the period and no increase in immigration fees was implemented.
He then urged bureau officials who attended the meeting to ?work harder amid these difficult times? so the bureau can help the government raise more revenue to fund its pro-poor projects.
In a press statement, the bureau said that from January to June this year, immigration collection totaled P1.045 billion, which is 11 percent more than the agency?s target of P936 million in the first half and P17-million higher than its take in the first half of 2008.
The bureau registered its highest revenue in January when it collected more than P216 million, a big leap over the target of P193 billion for the month.
The bureau said this was significant considering that foreigner arrivals dipped to 1.2 million compared with the 1.3 million in the same period last year.
Americans topped the list with 292,420 arrivals, followed by Koreans who numbered 213,131. Also in the top 10 list were Japanese, 140,685; Chinese, 94,665; Australians, 55,235; Canadians, 53,468; Britons, 51,831; Taiwanese, 36,377; Malaysians, 29,215; and Germans, 27,106.