DOF: Petron’s Bataan refinery woes not a tax issue

carlos dominguez

The Department of Finance (DOF) believes that Petron Corporation’s issues regarding its Bataan refinery is not a tax concern, but rather that of a supply chain.

Finance Sec. Carlos Dominguez said this following Petron President and CEO Ramon Ang’s pronouncement that the company will close its 180,000-liter facility in Limay town “very soon.”

Dominguez added that there is no need to change the country’s tax laws for fuel refiners and importers, saying that similar schemes are implemented globally and that big oil companies worldwide are closing their refineries as well.

Shell closed its refinery in Batangas just last August, while Caltex closed its facility in 2003.

Ang has been asking for the government to level the taxation playing field, having earlier stressed that the controversial Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law has been disadvantageous for the oil giant.

Dominguez also noted that there may be market and timing issues in the refinery business, such as importing crude at high prices. He added that importers of finished products could sell the products right away, making it less vulnerable to fuel price movements.