Economic managers have reduced the revenue goal from the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law this year, mainly because of the delayed implementation of electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) and fuel marking.
During a Senate hearing Wednesday, Finance Undersecretary Karl Chua said the inter-agency Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) cut the PHP89.9-billion collection goal from TRAIN to PHP63.3 billion because e-invoicing and fuel marking have not yet been implemented.
Even with the cut, the PHP33.7-billion revenue from the tax reform measure registered in the first half of the year is “on the dot,” he said.
The government is pushing for the implementation of fuel marking to address oil smuggling.
Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Assistant Secretary Rolando U. Toledo told reporters on the sidelines of the same Senate hearing that he has been informed by the agency’s Procurement Service Director that DBM is “ready to award” the winning bidder for the fuel marking program.
He expects the notice of award to be issued “within the month or hopefully within the week because we have a deadline to meet.”
If the notice of award will not be released immediately, “we have to do the procurement process again,” he said.
The implementation of the program will commence next year because some technical preparations are to be done first, he added.
Department of Finance (DOF) officials expect to gain at least PHP18 billion from the planned implementation of fuel marking by early 2019.
Earlier, Finance Assistant Secretary Mark Dennis Joven said the project cost is about PHP2 billion, way smaller than the potential leakage of about PHP25 billion to PHP40 billion annually based on studies.
He explained that aside from the fuel markers, authorities could also put dowsing equipment in the various refineries to check whether the oil companies are paying correct taxes.
Meanwhile, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said they have tapped the South Korean government to help fund the implementation of electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) by 2020, which is targeted to allow a value-added tax (VAT) refund system for foreign visitors.