Citing the shortfall in revenue collection, Senator Win Gatchalian is urging the government to speed up the implementation of the fuel marking scheme under the TRAIN Law (Republic Act No. 10963).
“For me, the targets laid down by the Department of Finance is important. If you failed to meet the target, we cannot give the promised programs,” said Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate committee on economic affairs and energy.
DOF data shows that the government missed its excise tax target of P69.5 billion by P13.7 billion from January to June 2018, collecting only P55.8 billion.
Petroleum excise tax collections reached P20.9 billion, which amounts to only two-thirds of the P30.8 billion target.
Gatchalian pointed out that the shortfall in revenue collection could have been prevented if the fuel marking system has been implemented by now.
For this reason, he called on the government to immediately implement a fuel marking system to deter revenue leakages.
“We’re not hitting the target and there’s probably some loopholes along the way. We want to emphasize that we need to implement these controls so that smugglers will not operate, and misdeclaration will not happen,” Gatchalian said.
“Again, we owe it to our citizens because we raised the taxes and we need to collect that in order to give it back to them in terms of services,” he added.
Gatchalian said they recently learned that the control mechanisms like fuel marking have not yet been implemented.
“The reason why I find it disturbing is that after the successive public hearings on the TRAIN Law, we were all quite wary about the possible incidents of smuggling,” he said.
“When I looked at these figures and saw that the excise tax for petroleum was not hitting the target, my first instinct was that a lot of petroleum products had been smuggled into the country,” he added.
After leading his committee’s inquiry on the potential impact of the proposed suspension of the second tranche of the fuel excise tax hike, Gatchalian also expressed concern that the DOF missed its revenue collection target on excise taxes, including petroleum excise tax collections.