Press Release
September 23, 2019

Opening statement of Senator Win Gatchalian during the inquiry on the Department of Energy's security plans following ARAMCO attack

Once again, thank you very much for attending this hearing. Last September 14 we've witnessed an attack in the Saudi ARAMCO facilities which curved almost 5.7 million barrels of oil out of the market, that is about 58% of Saudi ARAMCO supply, affecting about 5% of global well supply of oil. Here in the Philippines we import about 96% of our crude oil of which 90% comes from the Middle East, substantial amount of our crude oil comes from the Middle East, of that 90% comes from Saudi Arabia directly. It goes to two of our refineries, Petron and Shell and if you total the refined petroleum products as well as the crude oil that comes in the country 5.23% comes from Saudi Arabia. So almost 5% of the total crude oil as well as refined fuel comes from Saudi Arabia. 5% is a substantial amount considering that we import almost 96% of our crude oil and petroleum products so any aberration in the supply of crude oil, a single drop of aberration will definitely create supply issues in the domestic market and that supply issue will create ripple effects in the pricing.

As we all know, during the last seven days, we've seen hefty increases in gasoline and diesel. We want to be enlightened later on whether these hefty increases are in any way connected to the incident that happened in Saudi Arabia. This hearing will go deeper into the government's response into the supply aberration in Saudi Arabia, we want to understand from the DOE as well as other government agencies our response and we want to also understand the contingency measures if ever the situation in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East will worsen.

Yung mga ganitong panahon po importante po dito yung blow-by-blow updates from the DOE and we also understand the contingency measure in place or will be in place so the markets will come down so that the public will be assured that there will be no supply disruptions to our transportation as well as our industries. Pricing is also very important, considering that this is a deregulated industry, we've given free hand to the private sector to do business, to import, to sell and to transact. However, government needs to make sure that the public is protected and the public is not being abused by any shock or any aberration happening.

So all of this is in the name of protecting the public and moving forward. We also want to understand from the DOE what are the medium term and long term proposal that the department has in mind in order to once again protect the public and [to make sure] that there is constant supply of oil to our industry and transportation. We've heard from the department last Friday various proposals, some will need legislative actions, some of them will need executive action. This is it the time to understand all of those. So again, gusto natin ma-assure na ang gobyerno ay handa at magiging handa at yung protection ng ating consumers ay laging andoon.

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