With pump fuel prices seemingly racing toward the P100 per liter-mark, Camarines Sur 2nd district Rep. LRay Villafuerte is prodding the incoming Marcos administration to consider putting up a national strategic petroleum reserve (SPR).

(Ali Vicoy/ MANILA BULLETIN)


“I hope the BBM (Bongbong Marcos) administration will take a long look at the SPR plan, which has unfortunately been stuck in the planning stage at the DOE (Department of Energy) for over two years now,” said Villafuerte, one of the longtime backers of the idea.

He issued this statement even as the cost of gasoline reached P95 per liter; and diesel, P84 per liter with the latest price adjustments. What’s worse is that further price hikes seem inevitable in the coming weeks.

The aggregate increase of gasoline prices since January 2022 has reached almost P29 per liter; for diesel, the increase has been over P41 a liter.

“Given the seemingly endless oil price spiral in the world market, one way for the incoming BBM administration to stabilize the retail cost of petroleum products—and shield consumers and motorists from the debilitating effects of sky-high prices of gasoline and fuel—is to put up a state-run storage facility that would enable the government to bring in additional inventory that could help soften future price surges,” Villafuerte said.

“Our DOE officials have for years been talking the talk about a national SPR, but they have yet to walk the walk on this planned reserve for petroleum products,” Villafuerte said.

“In fact, the best that DOE Secretary [Alfonso] Cusi has done to calm an anxious public is to tell some three months back that the PNOC (Philippine National Oil Co.) has been tapped to do a feasibility study on it (SPR).”

Villafuerte earlier expressed disgust over the DOE officials’ “utter lack of a sense of urgency” on the SPR plan. “What happens now to this long-stalled plan with the anticipated changing of the guards at the Department by end-June?” he wondered.

The former deputy speaker lamented that there seems to be no immediate end to the oil price surges, which have either been triggered or exacerbated by the following: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; the weakening peso, which is now being traded at over P53 against the greenback; the lockdown in China; the European Union (UE)’s ban on Russian oil imports; and the swelling demand for fuel in northern hemisphere states because of the summer travel peak period of between June and September.

Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2022/06/20/take-a-look-at-stalled-strategic-petroleum-reserve-plan-solon-asks-marcos/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=take-a-look-at-stalled-strategic-petroleum-reserve-plan-solon-asks-marcos)