THE ENERGY department has imposed a price freeze on household liquified petroleum gas (LPG) and kerosene in areas that have declared a state of calamity after typhoon Odette, with international name Rai, left extensive damage in parts of the Philippines.
As of Dec.18, five local government units have made the calamity declaration. These are: Jose Panganiban town in Camariñes Norte, Cebu province along with the independent city of Cebu, Bohol province, and Butuan City.
“Pursuant to the 17 Dec. 2021 declaration of a State of Calamity (SOC) in certain areas, the price freeze on household LPG and kerosene is now in effect. This means that for 15 days following the SOC, prices shall remain at the prevailing levels on the date of the declaration,” the Department of Energy said in a statement on Sunday.
Under the Price Act or Republic Act No. 7581, a price freeze is imposed on basic necessities in areas under a state of calamity, state of emergency, or similar situations.
“In anticipation of typhoon Odette’s impact in the Mindanao and Visayas regions, [we] had earlier called on all concerned downstream oil industry stakeholders to begin their monitoring activities and activate their respective disaster risk preparedness and response protocols,” the Energy department said.
This covers gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and LPG.
The Department of Energy (DoE) reported that 159 downstream oil retail outlets in Visayas and Mindanao, including 20 in Palawan, were closed due to power outage, flooding, damage, and lack of manpower as of Saturday afternoon. Six bulk facilities were also non-operational.
Meanwhile, the department noted that they have not received a report on oil supply shortage as of Dec. 18, although local media reports in some areas showed consumers lining up in fuel stations.
Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, Inc. announced on Thursday that it will not impose a price hike this week in areas affected by typhoon Odette.
Last week, oil prices increased with kerosene up by P1.20 per liter, diesel by P1.35/L, and gasoline by P1.60/L. — Marielle C. Lucenio