The Department of Transportation has issued a statement with regard to Department of Energy's (DOE) Department Order (DO) No. 002018-08-0012 which directs all petroleum fuel industry players to provide Euro-II compliant automotive diesel oil at the retail level to give transport customers a cheaper fuel option amid rising world market prices.

According to its official statement, “The DOTr finds this order a retrogression that takes us several steps back when we should be moving forward. The DO also runs counter to the Clean Air Act, which was enacted into law in 1999. The law mandates the sale of Euro-IV fuel for passenger and commercial vehicles in the country starting 2017, and Euro-IV compliant vehicles starting January 2018.

“The minimal savings that the transport sector can get from Euro-II diesel do not even come close to its impact on public health, as well as economic losses as a result of pollution and its health-related consequences. The DOTr assures our commuters and motorists that we will not waver in the implementation of the PUV Modernization Program, wherein vehicles must at least be Euro-4 compliant.

“Filipinos deserve a safe and clean environment. And, we believe that this is the safer and environment-friendly option, the international standard, and this is the way forward.

Just last week, the DOE has ordered the Philippine National Oil Company-Exploration Corporation (PNOC-EC) to import low-priced fuel  to alleviate the effects of inflation. The DOE claims the measure will have a ripple effect on taming the prices of basic commodities and control inflation. The fuel products bought at a special price will be made available to dealers, operators and independent petroleum players under a Memorandum of Agreement.