THE Department of Energy (DoE) has promised to review a recent order directing oil companies to offer diesel fuel compliant with the Euro 2 emissions standard as an inflation-control measure, after opposition to the order surfaced at a Congressional hearing.
Undersecretary Donato D. Marcos told reporters on Thursday that the department will conduct more extensive consultations.
“We will review it, and we will consult the public; the consuming public (and) the industry players,” he said.
He added, “We’ll be coming up (with a new order).
Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian called for the circular’s cancellation at a hearing by the Oversight Committee on Biofuels, which he chairs.
He added, “No doubt that the intention is noble but there are unintended consequences.”
The DoE issued Department Order No. DO2018-08-0012 or “Directing the Philippine Downstream Oil Industry to Offer Euro 2 Compliant Diesel as a Fuel Option for the Transport and Industry Sector” on Aug. 10.
The order cites the need “to reduc(e) the impact of rising petroleum prices in the world market” and directs “all industry players… to provide Euro 2 compliant automotive diesel oil at the retail level as a fuel option for transport and industrial customers.”
In 2015, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) pushed for the adoption of the Euro 4 emissions standard. This year, DENR requires all new registered vehicles to be equipped with Euro 4 compliant engines.
Marinduque Representative and committee co-chairman Lord Allan Jay Q. Velasco said, “It is our role to lighten the burden of the Filipino public but our foremost concern should be effectively and sustainably lightening this burden.”
Philippine Institute of Petroleum (PIP) Executive Director Teddy M. Reyes said that bringing in Euro 2 fuels will add to the fuel companies’ costs, mainly in distribution, and in particular buying more tankers to separately transport the Euro 2 fuel.
Euro 2 also allows higher sulfur content of 500 parts per million (ppm), as opposed to the Euro 4 cap of 50 ppm.
“The health of the nation may be compromised by the illnesses due to exposure to contaminated air,” Department of Health (DoH) Environmental and Occupational Health Officer Luis F. Cruz said. He added that being exposed to levels of sulfur puts people at risk for respiratory diseases.
For his part, The Philippine Biodiesel Association (TPBA) President and operations Manager Dean Ang Lao said the risks that come with bringing in Euro 2 are not worth it.
“For a temporary measure, I feel it requires the deployment of too much resources for little impact. There are other ways of reducing costs,” Mr. Lao said. — Gillian M. Cortez