Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi signed a department circular providing for the unbundling of petroleum product prices to improve price transparency among oil industry players.
“Consistent with the mandate of the Department of Energy on effective data-driven policymaking as well as ensuring greater market transparency, we have amended our guidelines for the reporting of price adjustments by oil companies in the downstream oil industry in the Philippines,” Cusi said.
Cusi signed DC 2019-05-008, titled Revised Guidelines for the Monitoring of Prices in the Sale of Petroleum Products by the Downstream Oil Industry on May 28.
“In accordance with existing guidelines, oil companies will continue to report to the DoE any adjustments in the retail prices of gasoline, automotive and industrial diesel, kerosene, jet fuel and aviation gas, and household and automotive liquefied petroleum gas,” Cusi said.
The energy chief said under the new guidelines, oil companies would also be required to report their “unbundled price adjustments” to include import costs, tax burdens, biofuel costs and other essential components that contribute to the changes in retail prices.
“These enhancements will provide the DoE and other relevant government agencies with the necessary data to formulate proactive and appropriate policy initiatives for the benefit of consumers and the downstream oil industry,” Cusi said.
“Furthermore, the data provided will support the Department of Energy-Department of Justice Task Force investigations on reported incidents of anti-competitive behavior,” he said.
Cusi said the utilization of the data collected would be subjected to the strict confidentiality requirements under the Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act, the Freedom of Information Act and the Philippine Competition Commission laws.
The oil firms had yet to issue comment as of press time.
Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella earlier said the unbundling circular was meant to determine the oil companies’ industry profit.
“This is a way to address industry take,” he said, adding that oil companies needed to compete in terms of services and prices giving consumers the power of choice.
Under the circular, oil companies are required to unbundle and provide an explanation for the oil price adjustment.
“Oil companies shall strictly comply with the submission of the formal notice to OIMB [Oil Industry Management Bureau]…for any price adjustments or no adjustment of petroleum products subject of sale on a per liter basis for liquid fuel and automotive LPG and on per kilogram basis for household LPG, containing the detailed computation and corresponding explanation and supporting documents on the cause/s or reason/s of the movement of the individual unbundled price adjustment,” it said.
The circular will cover all persons or entities engaged in any or all of the activities covered under Section 5, Chapter 2 of Republic Act No. 8749, specifically on the sale of gasoline, automotive and industrial diesel, kerosene, jet fuel, bunker fuel oil and household and automotive LPG.
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