THE Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has reported that it is ready to award the contract for the operation of the government’s planned fuel marking system before the end of this month, with the government looking to implement it starting 2019.
DBM Assistant Secretary Rolando U. Toledo said the DBM-Procurement Service (DBM-PS) is ready to award the contract for the fuel marking system implementation in the country within the month.
“I just talked to our DBM-PS director that we’re just ready to award [the contract] for the fuel marking…,” Toledo said during the joint hearing of the Senate Ways and Means and Economic Affairs committees on Wednesday.
In July the DBM pointed out that two companies expressed their intention to bid for the fuel marking system implementation, namely, Texas-based Authentix Inc. as well as a joint venture between Switzerland-based Sicpa SA and SGS Philippines Inc.
Later in the same month, it was reported that only the joint venture between Sicpa SA and SGS Philippines Inc. that will bid, with Authentix Inc. expressing regret that it can no longer participate in the bidding for the project.
“Maybe [the notice of award will be issued] within the month or hopefully within the week because we have a deadline to meet. If not, we have to do the procurement process again,” he told reporters at the sidelines of the hearing.
He explained that if the contract is awarded this month, the implementation of the fuel marking system will still take place in 2019, as technical preparations will have to be undertaken by the company to ensure the smooth flow of the system. “[It will be in] 2019 because they have technical preparations first,” he said.
Sen. Sherwin T. Gatchalian, for his part, pointed out that the fuel marking system should be implemented in order to deter smuggling.
“Based on the revenue collection from TRAIN we collected P33 billion and that will be channelled to programs like the free education, but a lot of provisions in the law still need to be implemented. For example, the fuel marking that should be implemented to stop smuggling—if we don’t do that the smugglers will be the ones profiting,” Gatchalian said.
Collections on target
Meanwhile, Finance Undersecretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua said during the same hearing that, as of the first half of the year, the government has collected P33.7 billion in revenues from the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.
“Since we collected P33.7 billion out of the P63.3 billion, we are on the dot as of the first half [of the year],” Chua said.
The government’s original revenue collection target from the TRAIN of P89.9 billion for the first year of implementation was revised downward to P63.3 billion, after the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) deducted P26.6 billion from the forecast in light of the delays in the implementation of the electronic invoicing system, as well as the fuel marking system.
“Data as of the first half [of the year showed] we collected P33.7 billion, out of the P89.9 billion. But of the P89.9 billion, P26.6 billion has been deducted by the DBCC because the e-invoice and fuel marking [are] not yet ready,” he added.
Based on data from the Department of Finance, a total of P33.7 billion in actual revenue collections was reported from January to June this year, higher than the target set at P30.1 billion for the six-month period.
Broken down, collections from excise taxes reached over P55.8 billion, lower than the target of P69.5 billion, with petroleum excise tax collections contributing P20.9 billion to the total, automobiles at P9.5 billion, sugar-sweetened beverages with P18.5 billion, tobacco with P5.5 billion, taxes on coal with P400 million and mining taxes at P900 million, among others.