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Gov’t losing up to P44 billion on oil smuggling — DOF

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By Chino S. Leyco

The Department of Finance (DOF) wants to implement the mandatory fuel marking system to plug the estimated foregone revenues of up to P43.8 billion annually due to rampant oil smuggling and misdeclaration.

In a statement over the weekend, Finance Undersecretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua said the absence of fuel markings on petroleum products is costing the government around P26.9 billion to P43.8 billion yearly.

Under package one of the proposed tax reform, which the DOF has endorsed for congressional approval, the fuel marking plan will be implemented beginning next year by the Bureau of Customs, with the assistance of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

The procurement process, which the Customs plans to start in the coming months, will be done through competitive bidding, Chua said at the 5th General Executive Council meeting of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP).

In the meeting, Chua also explained the positive impact on the economy of the tax reform’s first package, also known as the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act (TRAIN), and its benefits to local government units, especially those situated in the countryside.

The DOF expects the award of the contract by the third quarter so that the successful bidder would have enough time to roll out the system by January 1, 2018, Chua said.

Implementing a fuel-marking system is among the provisions under the substitute bill House Bill No. 5636 approved last May 3 by the House ways and means committee covering the first package.

The bill, sponsored by Quirino Rep. Dakila Carlo Qua on second reading, is now undergoing plenary deliberations at the House of Representatives.

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