The Department of Energy (DoE) reiterated on Wednesday that old fuel stocks still to be sold to consumers would not be subjected to higher excise taxes on petroleum products, adding that it is watching out for possible profiteering.
In a press briefing, Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella said these taxes should not be imposed on fuel products already in retail outlets before the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act (Train) took effect on Monday.
He also said the DoE is keeping a close eye on oil companies and prevent possible profiteering from Train, which President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law on December 19, 2017.
“As directed by President Duterte, government taxes should not profit the companies, because these are all intended for” the public, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said.
For his part, Energy Assistant Secretary Leonido Pulido 3rd said they “expect that the increase of liquid petroleum product prices, based on the new excise tax rates under Train, [would not take place for]at least 15 days after January 1.”
He added that they are basing their assumption on Executive Order 134, which requires a minimum inventory for liquid petroleum products for 15 days. DoE data indicate that existing old stocks would take at least half a month to be used up.
Pulido conceded it’s possible it would take more than two weeks for these stocks to be exhausted.
Oil firms raised the price of diesel by 65 centavos per liter; gasoline, 20 centavos; and kerosene, 75 centavos.
This came after the DoE met with oil companies on Wednesday morning to discuss how they can help each other in properly enforcing Train.
The firms agreed to submit inventories of their stock as of December 31 and notarize the documents they would submit for easier presentation to government agencies.
They also agreed to share their sales data to dealers and retailers to determine which stocks will be subjected to the excise tax.
The DoE, with the Trade and Finance departments, would validate the data and monitor oil companies to ensure their compliance, both at the refinery or depot and at gasoline stations.
Excise taxes under Train would raise the price of gasoline by P10 per liter; kerosene, by P5; and diesel, by P6.