MANILA, Philippines — As of last week, a total of 6.45 billion liters of tax-paid fuel had been already marked by the government as it continued to monitor oil firms’ tax compliance despite the COVID-19 lockdowns in Luzon and other parts of the country.

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said the latest fuel marking volume reflected oil products injected with chemical markers between September last year and April 2 this year.

Three-fourths of the marked fuel to date were in Luzon; 20 percent in Mindanao; and 5 percent in the Visayas.

Per company, Chevron had 665.4 million liters of oil products marked; ERA1 Petroleum, 20.4 million liters; Filoil Logistics, 29.4 million; Goldenshare, 25.9 million; High Glory, 32.7 million; Insular Oil, 322.9 million; Jadelink, 4.2 million; Jetti, 173.4 million; Marubeni, 73.8 million; Micro Dragon, 46.7 million; Petron, 1.5 billion; Phoenix Petroleum, 526.5 million; Pilipinas Shell, 1.3 billion; PTT, 98.1 million; Seaoil, 602.6 million, SL Gas, 18.4 million; SL Harbour, 403,085; Total-Filoil, 202.4 million; Unioil, 692.1 million; and Warbucks, 42.9 million.

Bureau of Customs (BOC) Deputy Commissioner Teddy Sandy S. Raval earlier told the Inquirer that the interagency agency task force (IATF) on COVID-19 had exempted fuel marking from the movement restrictions during the one-month enhanced community quarantine to contain the COVID-19 disease.

Raval had warned that “disruption of the fuel marking program may mean disruption of fuel supply,” adding that “markers are goods anyway, not persons who can infect.”

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 under a five-year contract.

Under the joint fuel marking guidelines issued last year, the BOC conducts fuel marking in depots, tank trucks, vessels, warehouses and other fuel-transporting vehicles, while the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) tests in refineries, their attached depots, gasoline stations and other retail outlets.

The country’s two biggest tax-collection agencies had been granted with deputization and police authority during field testing so they can not only seize adulterated, diluted or unmarked petroleum but also arrest unscrupulous traders.

For 2020, the government aims to collect an additional P20 billion in revenues from fuel marking.

EDV

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