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DOE exec says no oil supply woes, problem lies with prices


An official from the Department of Energy (DOE) on Monday said there is no problem with the supply of fuel products coming into the country, adding that the problem lies in its prices.

During a congressional inquiry, House committee on transportation chairperson Representative Edgar Mary Sarmiento asked the DOE how long  the Philippines will have supply of oil.

"Wala ho tayong problema sa supply, Mr. Chair. 'Yung problema natin ngayon is... covered po tayo, 'yung inventory natin 30 days, more than 40 days po ang nasa inventory pa natin," DOE Undersecretary Gerardo Erguiza told lawmakers.

(We have no problem with the supply. We are covered, our inventory is for 30 days, we still have 40 days in our inventory.)

"Ang problema ho natin ngayon presyo pero quantity wala ho tayong problema. May pumapasok ho," Erguiza added.

(Our problem is the price of fuel products but in the quantity, we have no problem.)

This week, domestic pump prices of petroleum products are expected to increase "big-time" as global crude oil prices continue to soar amid the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Reports said the global benchmark Brent crude price soared to over $119 per barrel as Russia's invasion of Ukraine sent jitters across oil markets.

In his presentation, Erguiza said the long term solution being proposed to address woes on prices include unbundling of prices, inclusion of the minimum inventory requirements in the oil deregulation law, giving the government intervention powers when there is a spike on prices, and temporary suspension of excise tax on petroleum products.

President Rodrigo Duterte had called on Congress to review the oil deregulation law amid the weekly increases in oil prices as well as due to the situation in Ukraine.

Under the law, government control is removed to help oil companies become more competitive with their supply and pricing of petroleum products. — RSJ, GMA News

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