By Jun Ramirez
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) will conduct surprise inspections of gasoline stations in Metro Manila and elsewhere starting this June to ferret out untaxed fuel products.
Revenue Deputy Commissioner for Operations Arnel Guballa said that, by that time, all deliveries to gas stations would have already been properly marked by the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
Fuel marking means the pouring of chemicals to oil products brought into the country.
The additives produce certain coloration when examined by special electronic gadgets, thus enabling inspectors to identify if the supplies came from legitimate sources, or smugglers.
Guballa said the periodic inspections will curb the lucrative petroleum smuggling business, which has been causing the government more than P30 billion in lost excise tax annually.
Taxmen who will conduct the inspection will be accompanied by technicians of the fuel marking contractor hired by the Department of Finance (DOF) to undertake the actual examination.
The automated testing instrument will be installed in vehicles that will roam streets to conduct the random inspections.
Guballa said the fuel testing also has the capability determining the quality of gasoline and diesel fuel.
It is a common knowledge that some enterprising gas station operators add other lower priced petroleum products to gasoline in order to maximize profits.