Due to various oil-related disruptions, the country could face a fuel supply shortage

For the past seven weeks, the price of fuel has gone up continuously. Since the start of 2022, gasoline prices have shot up to PHP 7.95 per liter while diesel prices have increased to nearly PHP 10.20 per liter.

While the continuous rise of pump prices is already giving motorists a hard time, it seems that’s not the only problem the country will be facing in the near future. According to the Department of Energy (DOE), a fuel supply disruption may become reality within the next few months. In other words, the Philippines might experience another fuel shortage.

To counter this possible issue, the DOE announced they are setting up a task force that will create a contingency plan to address the possible internal and external fuel supply disruptions the country may encounter.

Rodela Romero, DOE-Oil Industry Management Bureau Assistant Director, has said that they are already coordinating with relevant agencies in order to draft an oil contingency plan for the Philippines.

“The DOE is in close coordination with the Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC) and other government agencies to determine the level of demand or requirements of different sectors, like the transport sector and other industries, to be able to draft the oil contingency plan,” said Romero.

Romero added that the oil supply disruptions are also happening across the globe, which is one of the primary reasons for the sky-rocketing fuel prices. Apart from the ongoing tensions between Ukraine and Russia, there are also other oil-related issues that are contributing to the possible fuel shortage. These include maintenance and repair works of an oil pipeline in Libya, an explosion of an oil vessel in Nigeria, and oil spills in Ecuador and Kazakhstan.

The DOE reiterated that the oil contingency plan is among the measures they are working on until such time that the country is ready to put up its Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) program. Here, the Philippines will stock up on fuel to meet the country’s energy demands even when there is a crisis that can affect the supply of imported fuel.

The DOE has yet to say or confirm when the disruption of imported fuel will happen. But given the severity of the issue, it’s clear the DOE is not taking any chances should there be a sudden shortage of oil.