Valuation system changed for power generators’ coal imports

FREEPIK

THE Department of Energy (DoE) said a new valuation system for thermal coal imports, which the Bureau of Customs (BoC) has agreed to implement, will more clearly reflect the true cost of coal, which many power plants in the Philippines rely on to generate electricity.

In a briefing on Wednesday, Energy Undersecretary Sharon S. Garin said the BoC has agreed to use transactional value for coal imports, instead of reference value. She expects no immediate impact on the power costs, saying only that the shift will better reflect the true price of coal when power companies pass on costs to consumers.

The BoC said reference values for imports are taken from a list of standard prices, while the transactional value reflects actual prices paid.

“The problem with coal imports is the valuation of coal. The higher it is valued, the higher the taxes and duties to be paid which in return affect the country’s electricity prices,” Ms. Garin said.

“Together with the Bureau of Customs, we have re-assess that instead of having a reference value, it should be the transactional value, so the collectors have been informed to use transactional value. The DoE (hopes this move will be to) the advantage of consumers,” Ms. Garin added.  

Energy Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla has said that 45% of power plants in the Philippines use coal for fuel, with 80% of that coal imported. Coal-fired plants accounted for the largest share of the Philippine power with 45%. — Ashley Erika O. Jose