DOE orders 6 Petron gas stations to explain rate hike

rising oil prices

The Department of Energy (DOE) ordered six Petron gas stations to explain why they increased their rates as early as January 2, 2019 to implement the second tranche of the tax reform scheme.

These gas stations are located in San Juan, Concepcion, Tarlac; Brgy. Mangan Vaca, Subic Town, Zambales; Mac Arthur Hi-Way, San Matias, Sto. Tomas, Pampanga; Mac Arthur Hi-Way Dakila, City of Malolos, Bulacan; Olongapo-Gapan Road, Sta. Ana, Pampanga; and Brgy. Prado Siongco, Lubao, Pampanga.

“We are asking them to explain. We have this twin approach, the show cause order and the inspection team,” DOE undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella said.

The DOE had earlier instructed all oil companies to finish their 2018 oil inventories before applying the second round of Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act on petroleum products which took effect on January 1.

The energy department has ordered oil companies to send its daily and monthly inventory reports including their annual inventory report for the end of 2018, according to Fuentabella.

All oil companies are required by the DOE to have at least 15 days of inventory. Some gas stations have already used up their 2018, while some still have old stocks on hand.

Submission of the requirements will be open until January 8 in order to properly monitor the implementation of the second tranche of fuel excise tax under the TRAIN Act.

“We are implementing already the second tranche of oil excise taxes. We are reminding oil players to implement the same properly and the consumers to be vigilant in monitoring its implementation,” Fuentebella said.

“On the average, [the implementation of the additional excise tax] can be in the middle of the month, it can be the end of the month. But there are gas stations reporting to us that they are already implementing the same,” Fuentebella said.

In a statement, Petron said that the six gas stations in question have low-capacity storage which allowed them to use all their old inventory.

“Petron is one with DOE in ensuring fair and correct implementation of the second tranche of TRAIN 1.  We reported to DOE the list of Petron stations which implemented the additional excise taxes on January 2.  These included stations with low storage capacity which reflected the new prices after their old inventories were depleted,” the oil firm said.

“These stations are being supplied from our refinery in Bataan where collection of new excise taxes by the government started 12:01 am, January 1, 2019,” it said.

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said the second round of excise tax on petroleum goods is not applicable for old stocks.

The DOE is in coordination with the Department of Finance, the Bureau of Customs, and the Bureau of Internal Revenue to closely monitor the application of the second round of TRAIN Law effective on Jan. 1, 2019.

Under the excise tax, gasoline and diesel prices will have an additional P2, P1 per liter on kerosene, and P1 per kilogram on LPG effective starting this year.

However, due to oversupply concerns in the international market, motorists can expect another price cut next week.

Fuentebella noted that the trend was due to supply glut and lower demand.

However, he did not give any range of the price cuts since trading is still ongoing.