DOE pushes transparency in oil pricing; review on

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    Unbundling. A DOE circular ordering oil companies to unbundle the cost of petroleum sold in the market was slapped with a preliminary injunction.

    The Department of Energy (DOE) will find ways to ensure transparency in the pricing of fuel as it pushes for a review of the Oil Deregulation Law.

    “We discussed that in the Cabinet and proposed to review the Oil Deregulation Law because we need to have more transparency and really know how we price (oil products),” said DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi at the sidelines of the inauguration of the San Buenaventura Power Ltd. coal plant in Quezon Province.

    Cusi said he has issued show-cause orders to some oil companies to explain the big disparity in the price of oil in some areas, say between Baguio and Pangasinan or Manila.

    “There is that price difference and I want that price difference to be unbundled. If I cannot unbundle the whole of the price, I want to unbundle the difference,” Cusi said.

    Cusi is confident the Cabinet will listen to his suggestion since “the interest of the people is at stake.”

    Cusi’s plan to revisit the Oil Deregulation Law came after the DOE’s circular that forces all oil companies to unbundle the cost of petroleum sold in the market was slapped with a preliminary injunction.

    Oil industry stakeholders argued the unbundling will infringe on their rights such as freedom from price controls and to operate in a truly competitive market; due process of law; and the preservation and maintenance of the confidentiality and the right of non-disclosure of its trade secrets, business, financial and related privileged information .
    Republic Act 8479 or the Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act of 1998 was enacted in 1998.