The Department of Energy (DOE) should put the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) and its subsidiaries in order and set guidance for the state-owned company amid ineffective performance of its mandate.
Gatchalian noted that PNOC was created in 1973 primarily to provide an adequate supply of petroleum products to meet domestic requirements as well as promote the exploration and development of local petroleum sources. However, PNOC and its subsidiaries have been unable to effectively conduct activities in line with their respective mandates.
The lawmaker noted that PNOC companies are stuck in a quagmire. For instance, PNOC Renewables Corp. (PNOC RC) has incurred P380 million in losses since 2013 while PNOC-Exploration Corp. (PNOC EC) has failed to produce oil and gas outside of the Malampaya gas field.
Similarly, PNOC’S targeted fuel relief program (TFRP), which aims to aid the most vulnerable fuel-consuming sectors during periods of fuel supply disruption or high volatility in prices, has been rendered useless by the Pantawid Pasada Program.
The same can be said about PNOC’s strategic petroleum reserve (SPR) which has been put on hold like the TFRP. The SPR was conceptualized as a strategic oil stockpile to ensure long-term stability and security of oil supply in the country. Further, PNOC’s energy supply base (ESB) project, intended to provide world-class energy supply base port facilities, has not been carried out successfully many years after its inception, according to Gatchalian.
“Kailangan nating palakasin ang mandato ng PNOC dahil malaking tulong sa ating ekonomiya kung magkakaroon tayo ng sarili nating mapagkukunan ng langis para hindi nakasalalay sa pag-angkat natin ng produktong petrolyo ang suplay at presyo dito sa bansa,” Gatchalian said.
“The importance of government presence in the field of oil exploration and development cannot be overemphasized especially as the country deals with energy-related challenges coming from external forces. It is high time the energy department provides a focused direction for PNOC,” he added.