DOE to push through with implementation of fuel unbundling

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 27, 2019   •   1522

A gas station attendant holding a fuel nozzle

The Department of Energy (DOE) said it will push through with implementing Department Circular (DC) 2019-05-0008 which mandates oil companies to unbundle its fuel cost.

“Based on legal procedure, the department circular will take effect since the court is yet to decide on the petition,” according to Energy Assistant Secretary Robert Uy on Tuesday (June 25).

Through fuel unbundling the public will be informed on how much an oil company pays for cost of import, freight, refining, storage, taxes as well as the profit they make.

This will keep oil prices in check to see if there are any abuses being committed in the implementation of price changes.

Several oil companies have already expressed their opposition against the DOE circular because it will eventually lead to oil price regulation.

“While the DOE’s mandate is to monitor oil price movements, we believe that the circular leads the industry back to the path of regulation,” their statement reads.

The Philippine Institute of Petroleum Inc. (PIP) has already filed a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against the implementation of the DOE circular.

At present, the Oil Deregulation Law prohibits the government from controlling oil prices. However the DOE does not share the same sentiment.

According to DOE Asec. Leonido Pulido III, the Oil Deregulation Law has an expressed provision in section 15. This gives the secretary of energy the authority to ask oil companies to provide information on oil prices.

“Ito ang disenyo ng batas para makapagbigay po ng mga rekomendasyon ang Department of Energy sa Kongreso ukol sa pagbabago o pag-amyenda sa ating mga batas regarding oil prices, (This is the law’s design so that the Department of Energy can provide recommendation to Congress on how to amend laws regarding oil prices),” he said.

Meanwhile, Laban Konsyumer President Vic Dimagiba said it is the public’s right to know how oil companies determine oil prices.

“Wala naman sila dapat itago, nire-report din nila ang kanilang profit sa SEC at sa stocks exchange. Huwag naman sana magkatotoo na ang presyo ng produktong petrolyo, masasabi nating ‘overpriced’ (They should have nothing to hide, they report their profit to the SEC and stocks exchange anyway. I hope there won’t come a time when oil will be deemed overpriced),” he said.

There will be a hearing on July 2 regarding the petition of oil companies to halt DOE’s circular on fuel unbundling.—AAC (with reports from Mon Jocson)

DOE assures enough power supply for the rest of the year

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 10, 2020

The Department of Energy (DOE) assured that the country has enough power supply to last the rest of the year due to the high amount of power reserve ever since the government implemented community quarantine.

DOE Asec. Redentor Delola there was an average of 30% power demand reduction in Luzon when several areas in the region were put under enhanced community quarantine.

Luzon currently has an actual gross reserve of 3,329 Megawatts (MW). From the available power capacity of 13,356 MW last July 6, the region only had an actual peak demand of 10,335 MW.

Power demand in the Visayas went down by 19%, and 20% in Mindanao.

Mahalaga po ito to ensure na ang mga pangangailangan, lalong lalo na po sa ating mga tahanan, ay nandyan. Wala po tayong inaasahang problema sa suplay (ng kuryente) (This is important, to ensure that the needs of every household are met. We have no impending problem with our (power) supply),” he said.

However, Delola said the Energy Department continues to coordinate with various agencies to address the power interruptions. He clarified that sufficient power supply does not mean that no power interruptions will be experienced.

Inaamin po natin na hindi naman natin maiiwasan lahat ng power outages mayroon po talagang hindi kayang pigilan may mga emergency na nangyayari tulad ng may posteng nabangga (We admit we cannot avoid all power outages. There will be emergencies that might happen like vehicles hitting electric posts),” he said. –AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

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DOE: Electricity bill during ECQ can be paid in staggered payments

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 27, 2020

The Department of Energy (DOE) said customers can pay their electricity bill by installments during the months under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

Based on the advisory released by the Energy Department, electric bills with due dates from March 15 can pay in installments for four months once the ECQ is lifted.

“Binigyan po natin sila ng panahon para bayaran (We gave them time to pay [the bills]) after the ECQ in four equal installments,” according to DOE Sec. Alfonso Cusi.

There will also be no additional fees for the consumers. According to Cusi, this is to ensure that consumers affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic won’t have difficulty in paying their bills.

“Para sa ganoon po naman, medyo hindi magipit ang ating mga kababayan sa pagbabayad nitong mga nakonsumong kuryente sa kanilang mga bahay-bahay po, (This is to not burden our fellowmen in paying the electricity they consumed in their homes)AAC (with reports from Vincent Arboleda)

US-Iran tension definitely impacts local fuel prices — DOE

Marje Pelayo   •   January 7, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Energy (DOE) is monitoring the movement of fuel prices in the international market in view of the ongoing tension in the Middle East particularly between the United States and Iran.

Though the Philippines has a different fuel source other than Iran, the DOE said the conflict has hugely affected other Gulf nations where the country buys oil.

One effect, the DOE fears, is the delay in crude deliveries which will likely affect the prices of oil in the country.

“Ang Iran kasi napaka strategic ng location niya lalo na doon sa dadanan ng ating mga vessel o yung nga barges – iyong (Iran’s location is very strategic. Our vessels or barges pass through its territory, the) Strait of Hormuz,” explained DOE-OIMB Assistant Director Rodelo Romero.

“If you will notice in the past, once na magkaroon ng threat, yun ang target nilang sarahan (once there’s threat, that’s the first target for closure),” he added.

Among the countries in the Middle East that supply oil to the Philippines include Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman.

Meanwhile, the DOE confirmed that no oil company has yet imposed the additional excise tax on oil.

The Department has ordered all oil companies to submit their respective inventory reports until January 8, 2020.

They are also required to put up advisory in their respective oil stations before they impose the third tranche of Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law on their products. – MNP (with details from Joan Nano)

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