Dominguez orders DOF to brief new Customs chief on fuel marking project vs smuggling

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 24 2018 04:12 PM

MANILA - Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III on Monday ordered his department to brief new Customs Chief Rey Leonardo Guerrero on the anti-smuggling, fuel marking and monitoring system set for implementation in early 2019. 

The program is designed to check oil smuggling.

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) is the lead agency that will implement the fuel marking program, under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, Dominguez said in a statement.

“I expect that the commissioner is fully briefed on that,” Dominguez said during a recent meeting, which was the first attended by Guerrero in his new job as Customs commissioner. 

To ensure that the fuel marking program would not be delayed, the BOC and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) have already drafted the implementing rules and regulations (IRR), and will match this with the masterplan drawn up by the chosen fuel marking provider, Finance Undersecretary Mark Dennis Joven said.

A masterplan has been submitted by the government’s chosen provider, the joint venture of Switzerland-based SICPA SA and SGS Philippines, he said. 

The DOF said the country lost over $565.68 million (P26.87 billion) from smuggled or misdeclared fuel in 2016 alone. 

But the Asian Development Bank (ADB) pegged the losses at P37.5 billion, while the local oil industry estimated the foregone revenue at P43.8 billion per year.