MANILA, Philippines – Over eight billion liters of fuel were already marked by the government to date after oil firms paid their correct import duties and excise taxes.

Bureau of Customs (BOC) Deputy Commissioner Teddy Sandy S. Raval told the Inquirer last Friday that as of June 4, 8.08 billion liters of oil products had been injected with chemical markers since the fuel marking program began last September.

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III earlier said 20 companies regularly participated in fuel marking: Chevron, Era1, Filoil, Goldenshare, High Glory Subic, Insular Oil, Jadelink, Jetti, Marubeni, Micro Dragon, Petron, Phoenix, PTT, Seaoil, Shell, SL Gas, SL Harbor, Total/Filoil, Unioil, and Warbucks.

As of end-May, the biggest volumes of fuel were marked in Petron, Shell, Unioil, Chevron and Seaoil’s facilities.

The BOC and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) continued fuel marking even during the COVID-19 lockdown as the program had been exempted from the quarantine restrictions on movement of goods and people.

The BOC marked oil in depots, tank trucks, vessels, warehouses, and fuel-transporting vehicles.

For its part, the BIR tested in refineries and their attached depots, gasoline stations, and retail outlets.

The country’s two biggest revenue agencies have deputization and police authority during field testing so they can not only seize adulterated, diluted or unmarked petroleum but also arrest unscrupulous traders.

The joint venture of SGS Philippines Inc. and Switzerland-based SICPA SA had been producing and providing the ready-to-use official marker as well as conducting actual marking in all taxable oil products nationwide.

Fuel marking costs P0.06884 per liter, shouldered by the government during its first year of implementation.

The Department of Finance (DOF) targets to collect an additional P20 billion in tax revenues through fuel marking this year.
Last year, DOF officials estimated the total volume of fuel needed to be marked at 15.2 billion liters.

The fuel marking program was aimed at combating oil smuggling and misdeclaration to further raise government revenues.

In 2016, foregone revenues from excise taxes and value-added tax (VAT) uncollected from smuggled and misdeclared oil products amounted to P26.9 billion, over half of the actual P52.6-billion collections of the BOC and the BIR that year.

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