President Aquino forms Energy Contingency Committee

A March 4, 2011 press release by the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson

Amid ongoing unrest in Libya and other Middle Eastern countries that have led to gas price hikes and concerns over the supply of oil in the Philippines, President Benigno S. Aquino III has organized a broad interagency committee as a preemptive response to ensure the continuous, adequate, and stable supply of petroleum and other energy sources in the country.

While there is no imminent danger of any oil supply disruption in the country, President Aquino, along with members of the Cabinet, has deemed it prudent to organize the committee as a precautionary measure to ensure that the necessary preparations are in place in the event the situation deteriorates.

Organized through Administrative Order Number 6, the Interagency Energy Contingency Committee (IECC) is composed of the Departments of Energy, Finance, Budget and Management, Justice, Trade and Industry, Agriculture, National Defense, Interior and Local Government, Transportation and Communications, Foreign Affairs, the National Economic and Development Authority, and the National Security Council.

President Aquino cited the need of government agencies to coordinate more closely for the evaluation of existing contingency strategies related to energy supply disruptions. In general, the IECC is tasked to undertake a comprehensive audit of the available resources of their respective agencies, validate the viability of the enhancements made to the existing plan, assess the need to operationalize the proposed plan, and submit reports to the Office of the President on its recommendations.

Earlier this week, Energy Secretary Jose Rene D. Almendras reimposed a minimum fuel inventory requirement for oil companies and bulk suppliers to ensure stable supply in the country. According to DOE Department Circular 2011-03-0002, the minimum inventory level of petroleum products must be kept at 15 days, while liquefied petroleum gas must be kept at seven days supply. Furthermore, oil refiners are required to keep a minimum inventory good for 30 days supply of both petroleum crude oil and refined petroleum products.