Lawmakers are urging the Department of Energy (DOE) to suspend and revise their order for oil companies to sell Euro 2 diesel fuels due to concerns from stakeholders.
During the Congressional Oversight Committee on Biofuels hearing, Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel said the DOE should revise its order and put in writing that the directive is only optional.
Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco also said the department order was unreasonably issued and the department should suspend the implementation.
On the other hand, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said the agency should instead scrap the order citing its lack of consultation with stakeholders, inherent cost health implications, and the order’s contradiction with other government policies.
According to Gatchalian, the Department of Health (DOH) has raised their concerns in going back to Euro 2 fuels which could result in health effects such as respiratory illnesses.
In addition, he cited that bringing back Euro 2 fuels in the market contradicts the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) program of jeepney transition which has the minimum fuel requirement of Euro 4.
In addition, fuel companies are projected to spend money on infrastructures that will be suitable for the Euro 2 fuels.
“We should really err on the side of caution…the whole world is moving towards cleaner fuels…We urge the DOE to consider suggestions, minding the most extreme,” Gatchalian said.
Energy Undersecretary Donato Marcos said the department will reconsider all the suggestions of the lawmakers and stakeholders.
After the hearing, the DOE will do an objective review and consultation with the oil players on the implementation of sale of Euro 2 fuels to determine how long the directive will be.
The DOE official said he will have to consult Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi regarding the suspension of the department order.
On August 17, the DOE released an order to industry players to provide “Euro 2-compliant automotive diesel oil at the retail level as a fuel option for the transport and industrial customers.”
A week after, the DOE announced that its directive to oil companies to sell Euro 2 diesel is optional after meeting with oil players.