By CHINO S. LEYCO
The Bureau of Customs will continue in implementing the government’s fuel marking system despite the month-long community-wide travel bans, the Department of Finance (DOF) said yesterday.
Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said that the government’s anti-fuel smuggling measure will not be affected by the travel restrictions while Metro Manila and other localities are under community quarantine.
Dominguez said that the Customs bureau will issue exemption on the movement of the fuel marker handlers and is requesting for the Philippine Coast Guard’s assistance in transporting the agency’s equipments.
“We can also continue marking with teams already on the ground in various areas,” Dominguez told reporters. “With fuel being exempt from movement restrictions, we would like to continue fuel marking.”
Dominguez said that the uninterrupted implementation of the new fuel marking scheme is necessary to properly monitor the compliance of oil companies and importers with the country’s tax laws.
The fuel-marking program is mandated under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion law to curb oil smuggling and misdeclaration of petroleum products in the country.
The DOF also expects the program will increase revenue collection from taxable imported and locally refined petroleum products.
Customs data showed that the agency already marked 2.368 billion liters while the team from the Bureau of Internal Revenue has marked 913 million liters, bringing the total to 3.28 billion liters as of February 14.
Oil companies that have participated were Unioil, Chevron, Phoenix Petroleum, Seaoil, Shell, Insular Oil, Filoil Energy, PTT Philippines, Petron, Warbucks Petroleum, and Microdragon Petroleum (Subic).
Other participants were High Glory Subic Int’l (Subic), Goldenshare Commercial (Subic), Marubeni Phils (Subic), Jadelink (Subic), and Era 1 Petroleum (Subic).
The government awarded the fuel-marking contract to Switzerland-based security ink technology provider Société Industrielle et Commerciale de Produits Alimentaires (SICPA).
Under the plan, the government will pay the ₱0.6884 per liter fuel marking fee for the first year of implementation while oil companies will pay for the fees for the second to fifth year of implementation.