Despite the one-month community quarantine of Metro Manila, the government will continue injecting chemical markers into tax-paid fuel to combat oil smuggling.
“With fuel being exempt from movement restrictions, we would like to continue fuel marking,” said Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III.
He said the Bureau of Customs (BOC) would exempt the movement of marker handlers and request the Philippine Coast Guard’s assistance in the transport, he said.
To contain the spread of the COVID-19 disease, President Rodrigo Duterte had placed the National Capital Region under community quarantine from March 15 to April 14.
“We can also continue marking with teams already on the ground in various areas,” Dominguez added.
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 BOC and the BIR had been granted with deputization and police authority during field testing, so they can seize adulterated, diluted or unmarked petroleum, as well as arrest unscrupulous traders.
As of the first week of March, the BOC and the BIR jointly marked 4.3 liters of fuel products, which meant these already paid the correct excise taxes slapped on locally refined petroleum, and import duties in the case of foreign-sourced oil.
This year, the government targets to generate an additional P20 billion in revenues from the fuel marking program.
Edited by TSB
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