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‘Amend oil deregulation law’ — DOE

/ 04:30 AM October 13, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Energy (DOE) wants to amend the oil deregulation law and allow the energy secretary to define the maximum price of oil, among others.

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi and Assistant Secretary Leonido Pulido III asked President Rodrigo Duterte to consider the move during the Cabinet meeting on Friday, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.

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The amendment was part of a raft of measures that the department studied after the attack on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia that threatened the global oil supply.

The energy officials said the proposed amendments to Republic Act No. 8479, or the Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act of 1998, would authorize the secretary to set the oil price ceiling and unbundle oil products, if necessary, said Panelo.

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The officials also suggested the creation, via executive order (EO), of an interagency body that would define an oil contingency policy and review fuel purchases, conservation, substitution and rationing in times of crises.

Panelo said the Office of the Executive Secretary would review the proposed EO first.

Earlier, the DOE ordered oil companies to explain why their latest price reductions differed substantially with the calculations of the energy department.

The oil firms raised pump prices after the attacks on Saudi oil refineries but later rolled them back. But DOE’s computations showed that their reductions should have been bigger.

Nuclear power

The DOE also explained to the President that a memorandum of intent recently signed in Russia was only meant to lay down a framework for discussion on nuclear power plants and was not for the construction of a small modular reactor.

The President wanted to study the proposal first, Panelo said.

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Also tackled at the Cabinet meeting was the “hybrid scheme” to redevelop the Nayong Pilipino park in Parañaque City.

The government will shoulder its construction while the Bases Conversion and Development Authority will bid out its operations and management.

The congratulated Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año and Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu for the rehabilitation of Boracay Island, which was recently recognized as the best island in Asia.

The President also discussed his proposal to amend the Government Procurement Reform Act to remove the “lowest calculated responsive bid” requirement and change it to “most responsive and advantageous bid.”

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the health department had intensified its information drive for better understanding of diseases amid a dengue and polio epidemic.

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TAGS: Alfonso Cusi, DoE, Oil deregulation law, Rodrigo Duterte
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