A VESSEL was spotted unloading oil to tankers in Loon, Bohol on Sunday, Jan. 6, which attracted the attention of the Department of Energy (DOE).
According to the agency, the practice is tantamount to illegal trading.
The DOE will investigate if the oil came from Cebu or if it was imported without a permit from the government.
DOE Legal Officer Mark Gamallo said they are collaborating with the Philippine National Police Maritime Group to arrest the culprits, who, according to their sources, are prominent businessmen.
He said these businessmen are making legal shortcuts to make a big profit since they are not paying excise taxes to the government.
The excise tax under the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion Law is P7 per liter on diesel and P9 per liter on gasoline.
Gamallo did not divulge other details of the case because the unloading of oil continues and the agency is gathering enough evidence to prosecute those involved.
However, he said the DOE would cancel the licenses of oil traders found to be involved in this illegal activity. He said a DOE-registered tanker could still be apprehended if it participated in an illegal delivery.
Gamallo said they have received several reports of vessels illegally delivering oil to different destinations, but the vessels were never caught in flagrante.
But last Sunday, concerned citizens took videos of the illegal oil delivery in Loon and of the delivery vessel pulling out of the town’s port. (EOB)