A 30-percent discount on petroleum products is sought for farmers and fishermen in the Philippines as part of efforts to ensure food security, the Department of Energy (DoE) said.

In a virtual presser, Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella said his department was proposing to oil companies that this subsidy be granted to agricultural entities.

“In our negotiations, we will [seek] a fuel discount of 30 percent per liter. That would be the benchmark for our negotiations,” Rino Abad, director of the DoE’s Oil Industry Management Bureau, told reporters in Taglish.

Asked for an update, Fuentebella said both the agency and the sector were still talking about it.

“They will inform higher-ups, like their boards. It’s not only the CSR (corporate social responsibility) approach, but also sales and marketing, for a better organized agriculture sector,” the Energy official told The Manila Times.

Based on the DoE’s initial computation, companies registered with the Department of Agriculture (DA) have purchased P15 trillion worth of petroleum products, although this is yet to be validated.

The agency is also exploring other “meaningful partnerships” between the two sectors.

This includes looking at gasoline stations that can sell fresh produce to improve food accessibility, noting the low activity at these retail stations, since Luzon and other parts of the country have been placed under enhanced community quarantine in mid-March.

In April, San Miguel Corp. began selling food through the 30 stations of its oil subsidiary Petron Corp. to provide people a safe and convenient way to buy essential goods.

It also started identifying key stations in Metro Manila that would sell farmers’ produce, including fruits and vegetables under the DA’s Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita rolling market program.

Meanwhile, convenience store chain FamilyMart rolled out two rolling stores in some stations of its operator Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Inc. It also launched a delivery service allowing customers to buy FamilyMart products online.

Fuentebella said a centralized registration of DA-registered firms was also being considered to provide a “proper boost” to the sector for food security. He added that some of them were not registering with the DoE to avail themselves of the current fiscal and nonfiscal incentives.