Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima on Monday announced mechanisms that would address smuggling of oil products in the country.
“New mechanisms and collaborative arrangements aimed at curbing the smuggling of crude oil and petroleum products are underway,” he said.
Purisima discussed the measures in a meeting with Energy Sec. Jose Rene Almendras, Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Lito Alvarez, Finance Undersecretary Carlo Carag, Department of Energy (DOE) Director Zenaida Monsada, and Department of Justice (DOJ) State Prosecutor Ramon Chito Mendoza.
He said BOC would now accredit all importers of crude oil and petroleum products as well as all import terminals or landing ports for these products.
He, however, said that importers and entities would be required to have be accredited with the DOE first before they can submit themselves for BOC accreditation.
He said that DOE would required these importers and entities to submit a six-month importation plan or a rolling importing forecast plus its distribution or retailing plan since DOE was tasked to set up monitoring or reporting systems and draw “information from source countries of such oil importation by way of agreements with its counterpart agencies abroad.”
The BOC already hired six international survey firms namely SGS (Societe Generale de Surveillance), Cotecna, Intertek, Bureau Veritas, Inspectorate International and Admiral Testing Service to check the actual volume of imported oil coming into the country and for monitoring of people involved.
Purisima said part of this effort is for the DOJ to fast-track the smuggling cases filed before it by the Department of Finance (DOF) and BOC.
“The Department of Trade and Industry will monitor exportations of oil and petroleum products from the country vis-à-vis the grant of BOI registration and endorsement for incentives,” he said.
Relatively, Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Kim Henares said BOC crude oil and petroleum products coming into the country would be taxed upon their entry in the domestic territory.
“The BIR shall check the books of account and financial records of all industry players,” she said.