The Department of Energy (DOE) has suspended the implementation of the biofuel blend requirement for gasoline and diesel in provinces hit by Typhoon Odette to expedite the delivery of fuel supplies to the affected areas.
In his memorandum directed to oil companies dated December 21, Energy Sec. Alfonso Cusi said the policy is in recognition of the current logistical constraints in typhoon-stricken areas in Visayas and Mindanao.
“All companies are still required to ensure their petroleum fuels meet the minimum requirement necessary for the safe operations of vehicles,” Cusi said in the memo.
“Further pump [prices] should reflect the reduction due to [non-blending] of biofuels,” he added.
Currently, the ethanol blend in gasoline is at 10-percent, while the biofuel blend for diesel is at 2.0-percent, both in compliance with the requirements of Republic Act (RA) 9367 or the Biofuels Act of 2006.
The memo comes following reports of dwindling fuel stockpiles in the storm’s aftermath, which have hampered rescue, relief, and restoration efforts.
The DOE has also caught several cases of overpricing in gasoline stations in the affected areas, confirming earlier reported incidents. Energy Sec. Felix William Fuentebella said erring stations would face administrative and criminal penalties under Section 52 of RA 7394 or the Consumer Act of the Philippines.