Fuel marking scheme rolls out in H2 | Business, News, The Philippine Star | philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — The government is set to implement a fuel marking scheme in the second half of next year to plug about P40 billion in tax leakages caused by oil smuggling, according to the Department of Finance (DOF).

In an interview, Finance Undersecretary Antonette Tionko said the government is expected to finish procuring by the first quarter of 2018 the services of a fuel marking system operator.

This, she said, would enable the government to fully roll out the fuel marking scheme in the second semester of next year.

“The TOR (terms of reference) is almost done, the final version will be completed by the end of this month. It will be published, the TOR, in the newspaper. Procurement is expected to start within the year by December, and finished by the first quarter (of 2018). We want to implement already by the second half,” Tionko said.

According to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, the DOF is looking for companies that can provide and operate the fuel marking system for the government.

“Basically, it’s an outsourcing — a service. We will not run it ourselves,” he said.

Dominguez and Tionko said a lot of players have already expressed interest to bid for the service.

“They keep coming here. Others, they only supply the (technology) while others do the service but they (need to) buy (the system). That’s why the TOR is important,” Tionko said.

Tionko said the government is also studying the technical aspects of the program, such as the technology and the application process of the marker dyes.

She said the government also has to train the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Customs on how to test and monitor the market using the technology.

The implementation of a fuel marking system is among the provisions under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act (TRAIN), which contains the first package of the DOF’s Comprehensive Tax Reform Program (CTRP).

The DOF had said the program is projected to plug as much as P44 billion in foregone annual revenues due to the illicit trade of oil.

Earlier, Dominguez said the government may earmark about P2 billion in 2018 for the implementation of the fuel marking program.

Finance assistant secretary Mark Joven also said the DOF is studying if it should charge the cost of the marker dyes to manufacturers. He said the fuel markers is estimated to cost around P0.9 per liter.

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