Gatchalian wants minimum oil inventory increased to 45 days
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Sherwin Gatchalian is proposing to increase the minimum oil inventory of oil companies from 30 to 45 days amid the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.
Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate committee on energy, said that since oil companies are currently required to have reserves that can last for 30 days, these old inventories should be sold to the public at the old price, lessening the impact of the series of oil price increases on the acquisition of new stock.
“I’m proposing to increase the 30-day minimum oil inventory to 45 days, that’s an extra 15 days of buffer,” Gatchalian said in a statement.
“The government should subsidize the carrying cost because when these companies buy another 15 days, they have to pay for interest. And that’s where the government comes in terms of energy security,” he added.
Gatchalian likewise called on the Department of Energy (DOE) to ensure that oil companies and retailers do not abuse the situation in Ukraine and Russia by imposing exorbitant pump prices of fuel products.
“Huwag nating hayaang may magsamantala na lalong magpapahirap sa ating mga kababayan (Let us not allow abuses which could further burden our countrymen),” Gatchalian said.
Gatchalian said that the DOE should set up active hotlines to enable consumers to immediately report those imposing unreasonable price increases.
Filipinos can expect a significant spike in local fuel pump prices in a few days as fears of a major petroleum supply crunch sent prices to a global high of $139 a barrel.