DOE pushes for stringent oil price monitoring

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The Department of Energy (DOE) is set to issue a new policy that will enforce stringent monitoring of petroleum products as part of its initiative protect the interest of consumers.

The new policy is pursuant to DOE’s mandate under Republic Act No. 8479, or the Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act of 1998, to monitor both international and domestic price movements of petroleum products.

The agency said the new policy enables the unbundling of the base prices of gasoline, automotive and industrial diesel, kerosene, jet fuel, bunker fuel oil and household and automotive liquefied petroleum gas.

“Identification of the costing for the major components of these petroleum products that may affect the pump prices would provide a higher level of transparency for our consumers, particularly the motorists,” Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said.

Under the new policy, oil companies will be required to provide the DOE with a weekly notice of the price adjustments (decrease, increase, or no adjustment) together with the computation of their products’ components based on the elements involved in the international price movement, the biofuels cost, and the capital/operational cost recovery.

“The weekly oil pricing updates will also be announced publicly by the oil companies to guide the consumers in making informed decisions in the management of their fuel oil requirements,” Cusi said.

The DOE policy will also require oil companies, bulk suppliers, and retail outlets to submit baseline data annually for the unbundling of their base price and to comply with the mandatory price display board.

In preparation for the new policy, the DOE-Oil Industry Management Bureau is currently conducting consultations with industry stakeholders.

It has scheduled the conduct of two more focused-group discussions within the month to finalize the new policy.