Petron, Phoenix willing to sell cheaper Russian diesel: Palace
By Jelly Musico
MANILA (Philippines News Agency) — Malacañang on Tuesday said two oil companies have volunteered to sell cheaper diesel which the government plans to import from Russia amid the rising prices of oil in the world market.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Petron president Ramon Ang and Phoenix Petroleum Holdings Inc. chairman Dennis Uy told him they are willing to help the government.
“So it’s like at least two companies have voluntarily offered if we succeed in importing cheaper Russian diesel though Petron is no longer owned by the government,” Roque said in a press briefing in Bontoc, Mountain Province.
Roque said Department Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso Cusi confirmed to him last Monday night that the Philippine National Oil Company Exploration Corporation (PNOC EC) has already initiated steps on how the Philippines can get cheaper diesel from Russia.
“I got confirmation from him that the PNOC is now taking steps so that we import cheaper diesel from Russia,” he said.
Although the DOE had imported oil from non-Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) before, Roque said it would be the first time that the country will get from Russia.
“The challenge for us now is that we have no longer state-owned Petron. Before Petron is our distribution network,” Roque said.
The government came out with the idea of importing petroleum products outside OPEC to build reserves and mitigate the impact of the oil price hikes in the world market.
In a press statement, Cusi said more fuel sources will make the market more competitive and bring down the prices of petroleum products.
Some sectors and legislators suggest the suspension of the additional excise tax implemented through the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law on imported oil products.
Malacañang, however, explained that the suspension of excise tax will be done only if the oil prices would reach USD80 per barrel. (PNA)