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Over 270 gas stations hike prices

Updated: Jun 15

From Clipart Library

At least 270 gasoline stations nationwide have adjusted their prices as of Monday, January 7, as a result of the implementation of the second tranche of excise tax increases on fuel products under the country’s first tax reform package, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced Monday, January 7.

The number is a little over 3% (or 3 out of every 100) of the 8,006 gasoline being monitored by the DOE. (UPDATE: As of January 10, 2019, the DOE Oil Industry Management Bureau has received 444 reports on retail stations implementing the second tranche of TRAIN. There are 369 outlets from Petron Corp., 46 from Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. and 29 from Flying V.)

The announcement was made on the heels of an assurance given by the country’s economic managers in a joint statement on January 4 that domestic pump prices should not immediately reflect the additional excise taxes because old fuel stocks are not covered.

Read previous story: New excise tax rates take effect; no impact on pump prices yet

Energy Undersecretary Felix William “Wimpy” B. Fuentebella, in a press conference Monday afternoon, said 268 gasoline stations reported to the DOE as of January 5 that they were already implementing the second tranche of adjustments provided under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act, the first tax reform package of the Duterte administration.

On Monday morning, Fuentebella said six more companies reported that they have also imposed the higher excise taxes.

He urged motorists to look for the required tarpaulin streamer (1 meter by 1 meter) that should be posted on every gasoline station implementing the increase. The streamer should list the specific products covered by the increase.

The TRAIN law imposes an additional excise tax of P2 per liter on diesel and gasoline, and P1 per kilogram on household LPG effective January 1, 2019. These brought the total excise tax on diesel and gasoline to P4.50 per liter, and P2 per kilogram on household LPG. There will also be an additional 12% value added tax (VAT).

Fuentebella assured that the DOE was in close coordination with the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to prevent abuse by the retailers and ensure that the fuel products slapped with higher excise taxes are not part of the old inventory, which is not covered by the second tranche of adjustments.

Based on BIR Revenue Regulations 2-2018, which provides the implementing guidelines on fuel excise taxes under TRAIN, inventories of petroleum products as of midnight of December 31, 2018 will not be subjected to the new tax rates.

Both the BOC and BIR should be able to provide data on which gasoline stations received new fuel stocks from the refineries or importers. Such data would allow the DOE to verify the reports that the gasoline stations submitted.

In a statement, Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said several gas stations have been asked to explain why they implemented fuel price hikes as early as 2 January 2019.

“We will ensure the fuel stocks for 2018 will be utilized first and sold at the pre-implementation prices,” Cusi said.

During the press conference on Monday, Fuentebella said some gasoline stations may have already run out of old fuel stocks because their storage facility is small or the market demand is high.

The TRAIN law, which is the first package under the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program of the Duterte administration, raised the cap on non-taxable income, but imposed higher excise taxes on fuel effective January 1, 2018. A third tranche of excise tax increases will be implemented on January 1, 2020.

The law has been partly blamed for the surge in the prices of consumer goods last year. Other factors blamed by the government were the rising global oil prices and the inadequate supply of food items, especially rice. (Ventures Cebu)

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