Govt rakes P147B from fuel-marking program

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Credit: Read the original article from Manila Times.

The government has so far collected more than P147 billion in duties and taxes through its fuel-marking program, according to the Department of Finance (DoF).

Data released by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd to reporters on Friday showed that the actual P147.47-billion tax take from Sept. 4, 2019 to Oct. 29, 2020 was equivalent to 14.63 billion liters of marked fuel products.

In a breakdown, P127.59 billion was collected by the Bureau of Customs from September 2019 to October 29 this year while P19.88 billion was generated by the Bureau of Internal Revenue from December 2019 to October 29.

Of the total marked fuel products, the bulk — 61.79 percent — was from diesel, 37.69 percent from gasoline and 0.52 percent from kerosene.

By location, majority, or 74.1 percent, of the marked fuel products came from Luzon; 20.9 percent, from Mindanao; and 5 percent, from the Visayas.

Participating companies were Petron Corp., Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp., Unioil Petroleum Philippines Inc., Chevron Philippines Inc., Seaoil Philippines Inc., Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Inc., Insular Oil Corp., Total and Filoil Energy Co., Jetti Petroleum Inc., Filoil Energy Co. Inc., Marubeni Philippines Corp., PTT Philippines Corp., Micro Dragon Petroleum Inc., Warbucks Industries Inc., Goldenshare Commerce, Era1 Petroleum Corp., High Glory Subic International Logistics Inc., SL Harbor Bulk Terminal Corp., Jadelink Subic Inc., and SL Gas.

The fuel-marking program is mandated under Republic Act 10963, or the “Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act,” to curb oil smuggling and misdeclaration of petroleum products in the country, and increase revenue collection from taxable imported and locally refined fuel products.

Dominguez said earlier the program “is having a positive effect on our revenues and, therefore, on our ability to withstand the ill effects of the contagion,” referring to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, which has wreaked havoc on businesses and economies.

The program is projected to generate an additional P20 billion in government revenues.

The Finance chief, however, said “the disruption in supply and demand caused by the contagion has made it difficult” to estimate the impact of fuel marking on oil smuggling.

Such smuggling was estimated to have cost the government P27 billion to P44 billion annually in revenue losses.

The nationwide fuel testing and program enforcement on the retail side started on February 3. Switzerland-based security ink company Sicpa SA and verification and certification firm SGS Philippines were hired to implement it.

After a three-month “flush-out period,” random field testing will be conducted by the Internal Revenue and Customs bureaus, Sicpa SA and SGS Philippines to determine the presence and/or dilution level of the fuel marker in petroleum products.

Fuels found unmarked or with marker levels below the prescribed dilution level would be subjected to confirmatory tests, and corresponding duties and taxes would be collected if required.

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