Save - Energy Ageement Signed; DoST Assures Alternative Fuels Are Ready

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DoE, oil firms tackle supply, prices together

The Department of Energy (DoE) and the oil industry yesterday agreed to work closely together to ensure continuous and adequate supply of petroleum products, and prevent unscrupulous parties from taking advantage of the unabated oil price increases in the world market.

In a Memorandum of Agreement signed in Malacanang yesterday morning, oil industry firms agreed to operate their gasoline stations for a maximum of 20 hours a day and set consecutive hours as "non-operation" hours starting Aug. 29.

"The parties shall cooperate and work closely towards ensuring the continuous and adequate supply of petroleum products in the Philippines amidst the continuous increase of the prices of petroleum products in the world market," the agreement said.

"To this end, the parties shall work together to maintain a competitive environment in the industry and prevent any unscrupulous parties from taking undue advantage of the increasing world oil prices to the detriment of consumers/end-users and public interest," it added.

President Arroyo, Vice President Noli de Castro, and Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla witnessed the signing of the agreement, the highlight of the Energy Conservation Command Conference at the Rizal Hall of Malacanang Palace.

DoE and the oil companies also agreed to implement the governments energy efficiency and conservation program in respective offices, gasoline stations, refineries and other areas of operations under the control of the oil firms.

They will also explore, initiate and pursue other measures of energy efficiency and conservation to reduce dependence on imported petroleum products.

Among the signatories of the agreement were officials of Caltex (Philippines) Inc., Eastern Petroleum Corp., Flying V, Jetti Supply Distribution, Inc., Liqui Phils. Corp., Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp., Seaoil Philippines, Inc., Subic Bay Distribution, Inc., Total (Phils.) Corp., Unioil Petroleum Philippines, Inc.;

USA 88/Filpride, Independent Philippine Petroleum Companies Association, Philippine Institute of Petroleum, Association of Pilipinas Shell Dealers Inc., Association of Caltex Dealers of the Philippines, Petron Dealers Association, LPG Industry Association of the Philippines, LPG Refillers Association of the Phils., Inc., and LPG Marketers Association.

Lotilla said that pursuant to its mandate under Republic Act (RA) 7638 and RA 8479, DoE will provide the support and assistance the oil sectors need to meet the countrys fuel supply requirements.

"This agreement takes effect on the date written above and shall have an initial term of six months subject to renewal for an equivalent period unless the parties agree based on the results of a review of the oil supply and pricing situation at the end of the initial term or at any time within the initial term that the conditions and premises of this Agreement no longer sustain such that there is no longer a need for the implementation of the measures embodied in this agreement," Lotilla said. …