By Chino S. Leyco
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said yesterday that its procurement service unit is set to award to Switzerland-based Sicpa SA and SGS Philippines Inc. the contract for the government’s fuel marking system.
Budget Assistant Secretary Rolando U. Toledo said that the fuel marking system will be awarded to the long bidder, the joint venture entity between Sicpa and SGS Philippines, before the end of this month.
“I just talked to our PS [DBM-Procurement Service] Director that we’re just ready to award to the winning bidder the contract for the fuel marking,” Toledo said during a Senate hearing yesterday. “We can implement fuel marking soon.”
Toledo said the government needs to award the contract within the month to ensure the fuel marking system will be implemented beginning January 2019.
“Hopefully within the week [we can award the contract] because we have a deadline to meet,” the budget official explained.
Should the contract is not awarded before November, Toledo said “if not, we have to do the procurement process again.”
The Department of Finance (DOF) earlier planned to implement the anti-oil smuggling scheme in the third-quarter this year, but due to some technical issues, it was delayed to January next year.
Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III had said that the scheme was necessary to properly monitor the compliance of oil companies and importers with the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s (BIR) regulations.
But Dominguez clarified that the fuel marking system does not aim to scrutinize the local oil industry.
The finance chief had said that illicit fuel trade is costing the government around P25 billion to P40 billion in foregone revenues annually.
Finance Undersecretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua earlier explained the system was designed to curb smuggling and misdeclaration of petroleum products that cost the government billions of pesos in foregone revenues each year.
Under package one of comprehensive tax reform package (CTRP), the fuel marking plan would be implemented this year by the Bureau of Customs, with the assistance of the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
Fuel-marking scheme was first introduced during the Arroyo administration but was discontinued in the middle of former President Benigno S. Aquino III’s term.
Former Customs Commissioner Alberto D. Lina had attempted but failed to reintroduce the fuel-marking system in the country that should have covered locally refined and imported oil products.