THE Department of Energy (DOE) on Friday reiterated its commitment to ensuring oil supply during and in the aftermath of natural disasters and calamities, especially when relief operations have to be undertaken.
“We must understand that fuel is an indispensable factor in relief operations and even in restoration efforts,” said Energy Undersecretary Zenaida Monsada.
As the main agency in oil supply-related matters, the DOE has secured a commitment from oil players that they will be providing enough supply in the aftermath of natural disasters, especially in the most critical areas, Monsada said.
The DOE recently signed a memorandum of agreement with the Philippine Institute of Petroleum (PIP), which comprises six of the biggest oil companies, to help each other out on fuel supply when it comes to disaster mitigation.
PIP members include PTT Philippines Corp., Total (Philippines) Corp., Petron Corp., Chevron Philippines Inc., Isla Gas, and Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. (PSPC).
PIP members, which account for more than 8 percent of the Philippine requirement for fuel supply, have 90 terminals and depots and over 3,000 service stations scattered around the country.
Under the agreement, the PIP and the DOE will prioritize the supply of fuel products to completely functional retail stations that are located nearest the emergency response centers.
The MOA identifies key areas of cooperation between the companies and develops a framework to ensure fuel supply in case of emergencies and calamities such as earthquakes, typhoons, floods, fire and spills.
The MOA stipulates the commitments of the entities in ensuring a steady oil supply in the advent of natural disasters.
Besides the DOE and PIP, other signatories to the MOA are the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Office of Civil Defense (OCD), and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).
Manuel Monsalud, health safety and environment security manager, said that through this agreement all agencies can now act collectively during disasters and calamities.
“The PIP members have come together in aid of each other, we have this mutual aid agreement such as in times of emergencies, so in times of disaster we can react as a company,” he said.
He added that disaster mitigation is dependent on fuel supply when natural calamity strikes.
“We need it for our generators, for our road-clearing activities, for our emergency response vehicles and to mobilize disaster relief goods,” he said.