National Fuel Reserve pushed

 

By Rose de la Cruz 

To shield the country from mad swings in fuel prices—a cartelized commodity abroad—Rep. Ciriaco Calalang of Kabayan partylist is proposing the creation of a national fuel reserve under the control of the Energy Regulatory Commission. 

“Our country needs a fuel reserve inventory similar in concept to the rice inventory of the National Food Authority” (even if NFA’s inventory function is largely a failure). 

The fuel reserve can be placed under the control of the Secretary of Energy or of the Energy Regulatory Commission. The reserve can be stocked with fuel bought when crude oil and fuel prices are low and the stocks can be released into the local market, either indirectly through the oil firms or directly to government-owned gas stations, when fuel prices rise. 

Gawin lang  mas maganda kaysa sa sistema ng NFA rice inventory ang mangyari sa DOE fuel reserve, para maging mabisa ang impact nito sa presyo ng gasolina, diesel, kerosene, at LPG sa merkado. Maraming henyo sa DOE at ERC. Tiwala akong kaya nilang balangkasin ang mga detalyeng magpapatupad ng fuel reserve ng bansa. 

He said this is one viable long-term solution to the Philippines’ vulnerability to increase in world oil prices “because we are an oil-importing country. Managing the fuel prices by injecting fuel bought at lower costs can tame or temper fuel price hikes,” he explained. 

A national fuel reserve would entail billions worth of investments in the infrastructure needed to store the fuel in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. 

These investments will generate jobs. It can attract overseas Filipinos working in the oil fields of the Middle East to come back home to work at the fuel reserve and facilities. We just have to pay them at the same rates as in the Middle East. 

Kailangan na lang timplahin ng Department of Energy at ng ERC kung gaano karami ang fuel reserve supply na dapat naka-standby. Sila ang mas nakakaalam ng tamang timpla. Ang range malamang niyan ay mula 5 percent to 20 percent ng monthly fuel consumption needs ng ating bansa. 

Maaring isama ng NEDA sa long-term plans nila ang investment na kailangan para isama ang fuel reserve depots at government gas stations sa Build Build Build infrastructure programa ng pamahalaan, he said.  

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