More companies comply with fuel marking — DOF

Mary Grace Padin - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — About 1.1 billion liters of petroleum products have already been infused with markers under the government’s fuel marking program, according to the Department of Finance (DOF).

In an interview, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said more gasoline companies have complied with the fuel marking program, with a total of 1.1 billion liters of fuel already marked nationwide.

The program has enabled the government to effectively monitor tax compliance among fuel companies.

“There was one company in Davao who was selling P5 below. I said, obviously this is smuggled or adulterated,” Dominguez said.

The fuel marking program is part of Republic Act 10963 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion law.

Under the program, petroleum products for domestic consumption with proof of payment of taxes will be injected with markers.

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) last August formally commenced the implementation of the program, with the first live marking of petroleum products at Seaoil Bulk Terminal in Mabini, Batangas.

Earlier, the BOC said it expects all fuel companies to be compliant with the fuel marking program by Feb. 3, as it will start conducting random field tests in oil facilities and depots nationwide.

To prepare for this, the Bureau of Internal Revenue has ordered all gasoline stations nationwide to submit an inventory of their petroleum products as of Dec. 31, 2019. The reports must be submitted on or before Jan. 15.

Internal Revenue Commissioner Caesar Dulay said the inventory shall specify the volume and type of petroleum products--namely, diesel, gasoline and kerosene.

The fuel marking program uses an official fuel marker, a unique chemical marker detectable at a molecular level, allowing for authorities to test, identify, and distinguish petroleum products with paid excise taxes in the market from those without.

Through this method, the government seeks to curb oil smuggling and misdeclaration of petroleum products in the country, and increase revenue collection from taxable imported and locally refined petroleum products.

Estimates from the DOF showed the government loses about P40 billion annually due to oil smuggling. The DOF earlier said the government wants to plug at least half of this or P20 billion through fuel marking.

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