THE Bureau of Customs (BoC) on Monday said it has collected P60.15 billion in duties and taxes from its fuel marking program in the first quarter of 2022.

In a statement, the BoC said it marked 4.72 billion liters of gasoline, diesel, and kerosene in the January to March period as part of its efforts to curb smuggling.

Since the program started in September 2019 up to March this year, Customs has collected P374.13 billion in duties and taxes from marking 39.316 billion liters of gasoline, diesel and kerosene.

Over 73% of the fuel was marked in Luzon, while 21% was marked in Mindanao, and the rest in the Visayas.

Diesel accounted for 60% of the total volume marked, followed by gasoline at 39%. Kerosene made up the remainder.

The Bureau said that 28 oil firms were currently participating in the government’s fuel marking program.

The government sought to deter fuel smuggling through the fuel marking program, which involves injecting a special dye into fuel products to signify tax compliance. Absence of the dye is considered an indication that the fuel was likely smuggled.

The BoC and the Bureau of Internal Revenue seized 93,043 liters of diesel, 18,839 liters of kerosene, and two trucks carrying unmarked fuel, with a total estimated value of P13.36 million. The BoC said it has recommended filing criminal cases against the two private companies and 12 retail stations where the unmarked fuel was found.

“The Bureau of Customs will continuously implement its mandate to mark petroleum products under the fuel marking program to raise revenues while curbing fuel smuggling and leveling the playing field in the Philippine oil industries,” the agency said.

Meanwhile, fuel retailers were set to raise pump prices on Tuesday. The price of gasoline per liter will go up by P0.45, while diesel will increase by P1.70. Kerosene prices will jump by P0.45 per liter.

Based on data from the Department of Energy, the year-to-date price increase for diesel is P25.65 per liter, P21.10 per liter for kerosene, and P15 per liter for gasoline. — Tobias Jared Tomas