By Myrna M. Velasco
The country’s oil companies have already started increasing excise taxes on petroleum products being retailed at the pumps starting this week – and the stations that already implemented now hover at roughly 500 stations.
The higher excise taxes of ₱1.12 per liter for gasoline and kerosene (inclusive of value-added tax); ₱1.68 per liter for diesel; and ₱1.12 for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) had been implemented since weekend.
Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation said it advised the Department of Energy (DOE) that it already increased excise taxes on 414 of its stations starting on Monday (January 20), out of its more than 1,100 retail portfolio nationwide.
But the major oil firm qualified the increase in excise taxes are not done one-time across products in each station, noting that in each retail network, it could just be one or two of the products being sold had been levied with the higher excise taxes.
Another major oil company that already advised the energy department on its enforcement of higher taxes is Chevron Philippines, Inc. for its Caltex brand in roughly 60 stations spread from Saturday, then Tuesday and Wednesday this week (January 18, 21 and 22).
Chevron said its implementation of adjusted excise taxes was not also carried out on all products in each station, but only for those of which old inventories had already been fully disposed of.
DOE Assistant Secretary Leonido Pulido III indicated that PTT Philippines also advised on at least nine (9) of its stations that have already hiked excise taxes.
Another oil company which acknowledged report on the imposition of higher excise taxes had been Total Philippines; while the rest of the industry players said they are still selling old inventories that’s why the prevailing excise taxes are still at 2019 level.
Of the three major players, it is only Petron Corporation that has yet to confirm if it will already be increasing excise taxes at its retail pumps; while super independent player Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, Inc. has not responded to media queries yet if its stations are already selling products with increased taxes.
The upward swing in excise taxes this year is in line with the third tranche of the prescribed increases in taxes for petroleum products under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act of the Duterte administration.
The first round of hikes in excise taxes had been implemented in January 2018; then the second batch was last year – starting also in the month of January.
With the elevated TRAIN-underpinned excise taxes, the total taxes, inclusive of VAT, being levied on petroleum products are: ₱11.20 per liter for gasoline; ₱6.72 per liter for diesel; and ₱3.36 per kilogram for liquefied petroleum gas.