DOE orders gasoline stations to explain unauthorized increase in oil prices

UNTV News   •   January 11, 2018   •   5185


MANILA, Philippines – In an announcement, the Department of Energy (DOE) said fuel price hike should take effect on the 15th of January since it will be the expected date when they already used up their inventories.

But some gasoline stations are already posting signage’s which said they are enforcing an increase in fuel prices.

There are more than 9,000 gasoline stations across the country. More than 200,000 of these are in Metro Manila. For now, more than 50 gasoline stations in Metro Manila have already implemented an increase in their fuel products.

Thus, DOE is asking for an explanation from oil companies as to why they implemented an early increase in the prices of their fuel products.

DOE admitted to having difficulty in determining if the gasoline stations have really used up their stocks.

“In a way, right now again based on documents kami so that’s our reference …we already issued a directive so all oil companies are aware of that directive and we anticipate that these directives are all disseminated in all their dealers,” DOE Science Research Specialist Chief Renante Sevilla said.

The DOE said it will cancel the certificate of compliance of gasoline companies proven to have lied about their inventories.

The DOE will also report to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) erring gasoline stations so the agency could determine if they properly pay taxes.

Local government units can also order the closure of gasoline stations once their certificates of compliance have been canceled.

A consumer group, meanwhile, criticizes the DOE’s process of inspection. According to Vic Dimagiba of the Laban Konsyumer, the DOE should issue a show cause order.

“Show that they mean what they say. They should issue a paper, they should not just inspect, and then leave. Their monitoring has no teeth. There should be an enforcement and then have them explain in 48 hours whatever the rules said 72, they should explain that they have no committed profiteering,” Dimagiba said.

In response, the DOE said it is waiting for the approval of Sec. Alfonso Cusi for the issuance of a show cause order. Through a show cause order, gasoline stations will have no choice but to follow the government’s order or else face charges. – Mon Jocson | UNTV News & Rescue

Community pantry organizers in Metro Manila urged to coordinate with LGUs

Robie de Guzman   •   April 27, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Metro Manila Council (MMC) called on organizers of community pantries in the metropolis to have prior coordination with their respective local government units (LGU) to ensure that COVID-19 health protocols are properly observed.

While lauding the Filipino spirit of bayanihan as community pantries emerge on various parts of Metro Manila, the MMC, by virtue of Resolution No. 21-08 Series of 2021, underscored the importance of coordination to sustain the downward trend two-week growth rate of COVID-19.

Citing data from the Department of Health, the MMC said the growth rate of COVID-19 lowered to -5% within the period of March 21 to April 17 from 164% for the period February 28 to March 27.

“While the organizers of community pantries exemplify collective charity and concern for the plight of the underprivileged and are truly worthy of emulation, support, and praise, the primordial minimum public health standards under the prevailing community quarantine must remain paramount,” the resolution stated.

“The sacrifices endured and gains accumulated during the ECQ and MECQ must not be put to waste by a disregard of the prohibition on mass gatherings, observance of social distancing, and the wearing of face masks and face shields,” it added.

The council approved the resolution on April 23. The MMC is composed of 17 Metro Manila mayors.

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benhur Abalos, who is also the concurrent chair of the MMC, said advance coordination would allow LGUs to set up measures to ensure the observance of physical distancing and other public health protocols in community pantries.

Community pantries’ adherence to the prevailing health guidelines is also part of the Filipino bayanihan spirit that it is promoting, he added.

“As the community pantries intend to extend assistance to our kababayans, let us be reminded that aside from giving food at this time, one of the noblest kind of help is making sure that they are not at risk of acquiring the virus which, at worst, can cost their lives,” Abalos said.

The MMDA chief also reminded that individuals aged 17 below and senior citizens aged 65 and older should stay at home, in compliance with the guidelines set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Metro Manila mayors to meet Sunday to discuss next quarantine status

Robie de Guzman   •   April 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Mayors in Metro Manila are set to meet on Sunday, April 25, to discuss their recommendation for the next quarantine status of the National Capital Region (NCR), Metro Manila Council (MMC) chairperson and Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez said.

In a radio interview on Friday, Olivarez said they would deliberate on their recommendation, as well as the COVID-19 situation in each local government unit (LGU) in the NCR with representatives from the Department of Health.

Metro Manila and four nearby provinces of Cavite, Bulacan, Laguna, and Rizal have been placed under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until April 30 due to the surge in COVID-19 cases.

Olivarez said their recommendation on whether to extend or lift the MECQ will be based on data from LGUs in the NCR.

The MMC chief assured they will evaluate the matter thoroughly as it involves 16 cities and one municipality in the region.

DOE, ERC urged to probe unplanned outages in some Luzon power plants

Robie de Guzman   •   April 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Thursday called on the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to look into the reported unplanned outages of some power plants in Luzon that allegedly triggered a spike in consumers’ electricity bills.

Citing data from the Independent Energy Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP), Gatchalian said that for the March 2021 billing period, there were 1,580 megawatts (MW) non-coincidental unplanned outages or 61.3% of the total outages.

For the April 2021 billing period but only until April 18, there were 1,428 MW non-coincidental unplanned outages or 62.8% of the total outages, he added.

“Dapat gumalaw dito ang ERC dahil noong November 2020 last year, naglabas sila ng isang polisiya na lahat ng planta ay dapat makapag-deliver batay sa tinatawag na reliability index,” Gatchalian said in a statement.

“Kapag bumagsak sila doon sa polisiya ng ERC at hindi nila ma-justify kung bakit pumalya yung planta, magmumulta sila,” he added.

Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate Committee on Energy, also urged the DOE to address any logistical issues being faced y some power producers to prevent similar occurences in the coming weeks as the government plans to intensify its COVID-19 vaccination between May and June.

“Hindi dapat tayo magkaroon ng brownouts dahil padating pa ang mga bakuna natin by the end of this month, May, or June at maseselan itong mga vaccines. May iba na kailangan ng almost subzero freezing temperature o mga freezer na kaya ang negative 20 degrees. Kaya kung may brownout tayo, saan natin ilalagay ang mga bakuna natin? Malaking dagok ‘yan sa atin at maaantala ‘yung vaccination process natin,” he said.

The DOE should also address problems in the delivery of spare parts needed by power plants to prevent simultaneous outages, Gatchalian said.

“Dapat ring imbestigahan ng DOE ang ilang alegasyon tungkol sa logistics. Dahil nga pandemya ngayon, hindi dumarating yung mga spare parts, kaya nagkaka-problema sa logistics. Dapat magawan agad ito ng aksyon para hindi sabay-sabay na bumagsak ang mga planta,” he said.

“Dapat gawin ng pamahalaan ang lahat ng makakaya para maiwasan ang brownout. Kaya ang solusyon dito at all cost – dapat yung mga planta huwag bumagsak, huwag silang mag outage.” he added.

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