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/ 05:01 AM January 28, 2020

The bureaus of Customs (BOC) and of Internal Revenue (BIR) have already injected chemical markers on nearly 2.5 billion liters of tax-compliant fuel, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said.

As of Jan. 24, the country’s two biggest tax-collection agencies both in charge of implementing the fuel marking program covered a total 2.49 billion liters—1.79 billion liters by the BOC and 700 million liters by the BIR, Dominguez said last Saturday.

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Dominguez said oil products of the following 10 companies had paid correct excise taxes and import duties: Chevron, Filoil Energy, Insular Oil, Petron, Phoenix Petroleum, PTT, Seaoil, Shell, Unioil and Subic-based Warbucks Industries Inc.

During the week of Jan. 18, the volume of marked fuel products breached the 2-billion liter mark, ahead of the program’s full implementation on Feb. 3.

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Last year, the Department of Finance (DOF) estimated the total volume of fuel needed to be marked at about 15.2 billion liters—6.8 billion liters for the BOC and 8.4 billion liters for the BIR.

Under the joint fuel marking guidelines issued last year, the BOC leads fuel marking in depots, tank trucks, vessels, warehouses and other fuel-transporting vehicles, while the BIR oversees testing in refineries, their attached depots, gasoline stations and other retail outlets.

The fuel marking rules granted the BOC and the BIR with deputization and police authority during field testing such that when they find adulterated, diluted or unmarked petroleum, officers not only can seize these products but also arrest unscrupulous traders.Fuel marking costs P0.06884 a liter, which will be shouldered by the government during its first year of implementation.

SGS Philippines Inc. and Switzerland-based SICPA SA had been hired as marker provider under a five-year contract, which mandated their joint venture to produce and provide the ready-to-use official marker and conduct actual marking in all taxable oil products nationwide.

The fuel marking program is aimed at combating smuggling and misdeclaration to further raise the government’s revenues from oil products.—Ben O. de Vera INQ

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