DoE: 300 fuel retailers start collecting new tax

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Department of Energy (DoE)

THE Department of Energy (DoE) said on Monday a total of 268 retail stations of Petron Corp. had already imposed the excise and value-added taxes (VAT) under the second tranche of the tax reform law, while 32 Flying V stations implemented the higher tax.

In a press conference on Monday, DoE Undersecretary William Felix B. Fuentebella said out of Petron’s 8,630 stations, 268 had reported to the department that they had implemented the taxes as called for under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN).

“Consumers have the power of choice,” he said, calling on fuel users to report to the DoE any fuel retailers that imposed the taxes without the required notices.

Mr. Fuentebella also said the DoE will check the stations whether these complied with the required tarpaulin notice disclosing the petroleum products that already carry the taxes.

Under the second tranche of TRAIN, an additional excise tax of P2 will be imposed per liter of diesel and gasoline, and P1 per kilogram on household liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

An additional 12% VAT will also be imposed, which totals to P2.24 for both diesel and gasoline, and P1.12 for LPG. The imposition of the taxes took effect on Jan. 1, 2019.

The higher taxes have already been imposed by a number of Petron and Flying V retail stations in Metro Manila.

However, the DoE said it expected petroleum supply from 2018 to last by at least 15 days from the start of the year for importers, and at least 30 days for refiners. But it said inspectors would also take into consideration the storage capacity and the turnover in each retail stations.

“We will ensure the fuel stocks for 2018 will be utilized first and sold at the pre-implementation prices,” said DoE Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi in a statement on Monday.

DoE officials pointed out that the increase in pump prices resulting from the imposition of the second tranche of fuel excise tax would still be smaller.

“This is due to the offsetting effect of the rollbacks implemented in 2018 and January 2019,” the DoE said.

While there is an uptick in the price of oil in the world market, Mr. Cusi said industry forecasts did not see crude oil prices hitting record high prices, such as in October 2018 when Brent crude oil price breached the $80-per-barrel level.

“If the trend continues, we do not expect it to have as much impact on fuel prices as it did last year. Besides, we can cushion the effect of any new oil price increases by becoming more efficient in our use of energy,” he said. — Victor V. Saulon