MANILA – The Department of Finance (DOF) expects the full nationwide implementation this year of the fuel marking program and several digitalization projects to improve tax administration in step with its goal of utilizing new technologies to boost tax compliance and fight official corruption.
According to a report by the DOF’s Revenue Operations Group (ROG), it expects the fuel marking program, including its enforcement activities to curb smuggling, to be fully operational nationwide by the first quarter of this year.
As of Jan. 6, the volume of fuel marked under the program totalled 17.73 billion liters.
Taxes and duties collected by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) under the fuel marking program totaled PHP149.36 billion since its implementation in September 2019 up to Jan. 4 this year.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), meanwhile, collected excise taxes of PHP23.94 billion under this program from December 2019 up to Dec. 28, 2020.
In a report to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, the ROG said it is targeting to complete the electronic tax exemption system (TES) of the DOF’s Revenue Office (RO) by the first quarter to allow qualified importers to register, file, and track online their duty- and tax-exemption applications.
In 2020, the RO processed 16,650 tax exemption applications, which translated into PHP12.5 billion in foregone revenues. 
These include 2,520 applications under the Bayanihan To Heal As One Act (Republic Act 11469 or Bayanihan 1) and the Bayanihan To Recover As One Act (RA 11494 or the Bayanihan 2), said Finance Undersecretary Antonette Tionko, who heads the ROG.
In her report, Tionko said the Online Registration and Update System (ORUS) of the BIR is also expected to be operational by August.
This front-end interfacing system will allow new business and individual registrations online, as well as the updating of taxpayer details.
Tionko said the pilot rollout of the BIR’s e-invoicing system will proceed as scheduled this year with the assistance of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).
As of November 2020, the service provider has already completed the business process reengineering and information strategy planning for the project. 
With assistance from KOICA, it is now working on the development of the value-added tax (VAT) system, installation of the information communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and the capacity building aspect of the project, Tionko said.
“The e-invoicing system we are developing is capable of processing and storing electronic invoices issued by taxpayers on near real-time. This will make it easy to issue digital receipts and capture and upload the data in the receipt to a centralized database,” Tionko said.
This system also includes an e-sales reporting system capable of summarizing the data in electronic invoices and receipts stored in the database, she added.
The ROG also aims to partially complete the digitalization of the One-Stop-Shop Inter-Agency Tax Credit and Duty Drawback Center (OSS) by the first quarter, Tionko said.
The transfer of tax credit certificates (TCCs) and tax debit memos of the OSS are expected to be available online before the end of the year, Tionko said.
By December this year, Tionko said she expects the “Mabuhay Lane," an ad hoc unit tasked to expeditiously process applications for tax and duty exemption to selected importers, to be adopted as an organic division of the RO.
She added the DOF, spearheaded by the ROG, is also expected to finalize double-taxation agreements with at least two of the Philippines’ fellow members in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) by January 2022. (PR)