DOE calls for oil firms to speed up deliveries
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Energy (DOE) appealed to oil companies on Monday, November 18 to speed up their delivery of fuel supplies to Leyte and Samar.
The DOE hopes faster delivery will prevent price spikes from unauthorized dealings.
DOE Director Zenaida Monsada said at a press conference that the DOE wants “the fuel supply to get back to normal as fast as we can in order to avoid the sale of ‘bote-bote’ which are sold at very high prices."
Latest DOE data showed only 83 of 128 gas stations of Petron, Shell, and Caltex are operational in Leyte and Samar.
In Leyte, 42 Petron stations, 12 Shell stations, and 1 Caltex station are working. Eighteen Petron stations, 7 Shell sations and 3 Caltex stations are operational in Samar. Current numbers do not include independent oil firm data.
Fuel supplies are expected to normalize this month, according to Monsada.
Monsada added that DOE Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla also issued a memorandum to oil firms to remind them of the guidelines for business operations during calamities.
Oil firms are asked to limit sales to two liters per person during the rationing period. Users with working vehicles are allowed to fill up their tanks. The rationing is meant to stretch the availability of fuel in Leyte and Samar.
While petroleum product prices are expected to rise this week, Monsada said oil firms can choose to hold back on planned price increases.
Monsada also admitted that the agency could do little against unofficial fuel sellers, noting that “the DOE and the DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) will look into the reports of overpriced fuel.”
The Philippine government can only introduce price caps for kerosene and LPG tanks, but not gasoline or diesel fuel during calamities.
"Thus, we appeal to the oil firms to get back their fuel supply as soon as possible,” Monsada said. – Rappler.com