Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi has directed Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) Exploration Corporation (EC) to go to the direction of eventually importing diesel from Russia for “energy-security function”, Department of Energy (DOE) Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella said during a press briefing in Malacañang on May 31.
“The Secretary has already directed PNOC Exploration Corporation to go to that direction. The PNOC has already – according to [PNOC President and CEO Reuben] Lista’s report to the Secretary – he has already secured some of the storage facilities that will be utilized for the stockpiling,” Fuentebella said.
Fuentabella said stockpiling is important so that in any event we have a third level of security.
When asked if when the stocks from Russia will arrive, the Undersecretary said “the Secretary said as soon as possible with a warning that it will be closely scrutinized every step of the way so that we will ensure na talagang benepisyo at hindi disadvantageous iyong mangyayari sa ating transaksyon.”
“Hindi natin masasabi kung ano mismo iyong presyo na matitipid kasi iyong—kung pagbabasehan natin iyong pribadong presyo sa Russia, mahal. So ta-timing-an talaga natin kung kailan siya magmumura. Pangalawa, tinitingnan natin iyong anggulo na hindi siya pribado sa pribadong usapan,” he said.
“Gobyerno sa gobyerno ang usapan nito at hindi ito negosyo, ito ay energy-security function. So nandoon iyong anggulo ng pakikipag-usap. Kaya sinasabi natin that we are talking to Russia and all the other partners natin sa industry, because what’s happening in Venezuela, what’s happening in the Middle East, we should be prepared at any situation,” he explained.
He added that, aside from Russia, the Philippines is also considering importing diesel from other non-Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) members.