Senate to probe PH strategy on energy security and self-sufficiency

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The Senate energy committee, led by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, will examine the country’s energy strategy to secure energy security and self-sufficiency amid changing global oil prices.

Gatchalian filed Senate Resolution 916 which directs the relevant Senate committee to check the national strategy of the Department of Energy (DOE) in ensuring an adequate and economic supply of energy “with the end in view of achieving self-reliance in the country’s energy requirements.”

He emphasized the need for energy security in order to relieve the economic suffering of Filipinos due to continuous movements of global oil price.

“The need for energy security is further emphasized by the fact that the country imports 44.7 percent of its total primary energy supply, exposing it to price volatility in the world market,” he was quoted as saying in a Manila Bulletin report.

Gatchalian noted that from July 25 this year, diesel and gasoline prices have increased by as much as P5.45 and P6.30 respectively, adding that the fuel excise tax implemented under the TRAIN Law made it worse.

The rounds of oil price hikes have added to the country’s climbing inflation rate, hitting a nine-year high at 6.7 percent in September this year, he noted.

Under the resolution, Gatchalian cited the DOE’s responsibility to carry out the policy of energy self-reliance and self-sufficiency through integrated and intensive exploration, production, management, and development of indigenous energy resources; and to rationalize, integrate, and coordinate the various programs of the government toward self-sufficiency.

“DOE has committed to implement measures to mitigate the effects of continuous price increase in the world market, and to oversee the proper implementation of TRAIN, insofar as taxes on petroleum products are concerned,” he said.

“Despite these efforts, it is necessary to be apprised of DOE’s strategic framework to achieve energy security and energy self-sufficiency to prevent similar situations from arising in the future,” he added.