Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has approved the donation to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) of 47,356.8 liters of fuel that were seized by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and forfeited in favor of the government.
The BOC will turn over a total of 41,356.8 liters of fuel to the PCG, while another 6,000 liters will be given to the military.
These fuel stocks were seized during the BOC’s enforcement activities under the Fuel Marking Program.
Diesel fuel totaling about 11,000 liters were seized by the BOC on February 24, 2021 inside the premises of Joycel Bus Lines in Caloocan City after field tests showed that these were unmarked, meaning no duties and taxes were paid for them.
The forfeiture order for the unmarked fuel became final and executory on January 27, 2022, clearing the way for its donation to the PCG.
The BOC also found unmarked diesel fuel stored in the facilities of Lemiz Fuel Station, and Star Oil/Min Ley Gasoline Station both located in Meycauyan, Bulacan, and at the Fuel Source Gas Station in Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija during several field testing operations done in Metro Manila and nearby provinces late last year.
Totaling 23,999 liters, the unmarked fuel stocks were forfeited in favor of the government on January 5, 2022 and will also be turned over to the PCG.
The BOC will also donate to the PCG 6,357.8 liters of fuel it confiscated in September last year at a retail gas station in Arayat, Pampanga operated by Luzon Petromobil Integrated Service Stations Inc.
In line with the provisions of its mutual assistance agreement with the AFP, the BOC will also donate 6,000 liters of automotive diesel fuel to the military.
Under their agreement, the AFP will provide the manpower needed to assist the BOC in its law enforcement activities while the latter will, upon forfeiture of its seized illegal fuel, donate them to the AFP.
Fuel marking, which involves injecting chemical identifiers into tax-paid oil products, is being carried out under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law to curb smuggling of petroleum products.
Under Section 7 of the Department of Finance (DOF)-BOC-Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Joint Circular (JC) No. 001.2021, petroleum products that are unmarked, with diluted markers, or have counterfeit fuel markers shall be subject to duties and taxes, inclusive of the appropriate fines and penalties.
This is without prejudice to the confiscation and forfeiture of such products and the filing of the appropriate criminal cases against those liable for violating the law.
Section 1141 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) permits goods that are subject to forfeiture proceedings to be donated to another agency, upon the approval of the Secretary of Finance.