Power outages might last until April 21

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 12, 2019   •   1435

The Department of Energy (DOE) has announced on Thursday (April 11) that the unplanned power outages might continue until April 21 “due to major generation inadequacy”.

READ: Gatchalian worries over possible brownout during elections due to low power supply reserves

Some generation facilities, however, are expected to go online before April 21 including South Luzon Thermal Energy Corporation (SLTEC) Unit 1. It is set to go online on April 13, according to the alert issued by the The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).

Team Energy Corporation Sual Unit 1 is also expected to go online on April 13 while the SMC Consolidated Power Corporation (SMCCPC) Limay Unit 2 and the Pagbilao Energy Corporation (PEC) Pagbilao Unit 3 are expected to go online on April 16.

READ: Luzon grid on red alert again

The Southwest Luzon Power Generation Corporation (SLPGC) shutdown was caused by technical complications in the vibration of the primary air fan. It is expected to resume regular operations by April 21.

“The DOE called for an emergency meeting with NGCP last night and will conduct a follow-up meeting today with the ERC, NGCP, IEMOP, and MERALCO to coordinate efforts and address the situation,” according to their statement on Facebook.—Aileen Cerrudo

DOE warns suspension of oil excise tax if global price hike continues

Marje Pelayo   •   September 18, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The government may suspend the implementation of excise tax in oil products if global prices continue to soar in the coming months as a result of the recent drone attacks on two large oil facilities in Saudi Arabia.

According to the Department of Energy (DOE), they cannot tell yet as to how much the price hike may be because it will depend on the trading price in the world market.

Nevertheless, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi assured that local oil companies have enough supply of oil which can last up to 30 days.

In the event that oil prices soar, excise tax in oil may be suspended as provisioned in the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law 1.

“Meron tayo dyan na safety net na sinasabi na kapag yung presyo ng langis in the world market, yung pag-aangkat natin breaches the 80 dollar per barrel in 3 consecutive months, we might intend to suspend excise tax,” Cusi explained.

But the official noted that as of now, there is a slim chance for the price hike, especially so that Saudi Aramco has announced to resume its normal operation in September.

Meanwhile, the DOE is also preparing for the possible adverse effect of the oil price hike to the impeding maintenance shutdown of Malampaya Power Plant next month.

Once the Malampaya is shut down, power distributors will have to buy electricity from oil-powered plants which may still lead to a power rate increase.

“Iyan pinag-aralan na natin iyan. Number 1, we want to make sure that there will be no power interruption because of the maintenance. Number two, that there will be no spike in price because of the maintenance,” Cusi said.

“Kaya lang syempre itong misbehavior ng price in the world market, talagang pagsipa noon mapi-feel natin,” he added.

Aside from diesel power plants, coal and hydropower plants are among the alternative power sources that the government is eyeing. – MNP (with details from Joan Nano)

DOE prepares for possible effects of Saudi oil site attack

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 17, 2019

The Department of Energy (DOE) is preparing for the possible impact of the recent Saudi oil attacks on the Philippines’ oil sector.

Based on the Facebook post on Monday (September 17), the DOE said they already held an emergency meeting at their headquarters in Taguig.

According to the energy department they are closely monitoring the situation about the incident and will keep the public informed of any developments.

READ: Analyst fears disruption of Saudi oil supply could bring ‘dire’ consequences

“We are seeking to ensure that the energy family will be sufficiently prepared to face the potential impact of this unfortunate incident, if any, on the country,” their post state.

Reports say the ‘large-scale’ drone attack can disrupt more than 5% of global oil supply.—AAC

DOE to push through with implementation of fuel unbundling

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 27, 2019

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)

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