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NEWS UPDATES 9 November 2009

Philippine govt urged to resolve oil price row 

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Petron Corp, the country’s largest oil firm, reiterated yesterday that it had nothing to hide as its financial statements are open for the government to scrutinise, reported a local daily.

The Business World quoted the publicly listed oil refiner as saying in a statement that the dispute over price controls that has forced competitor Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp to go to the court to seek a temporary restraining order.

Petron said it was not making excessive profits, pointing out that it reported a 4-billion peso loss in 2008. (1$=47 peso)

“Petron has always adhered to transparency and fairness in the pricing of its petroleum products. We have always maintained that as a publicly listed company, our quarterly financial and operating records are open and can be scrutinized by anyone," Petron President Eric O Recto said in a statement.

Former National Economic and Development Authority director-general Ralph G. Recto early this year claimed that oil prices were overpriced by as much as 8 peso per liter at retail stations, triggering a dispute with oil firms and Energy chief Angelo T Reyes, who said there was no solid basis for such a computation.

The Arroyo administration has ordered pump prices in Luzon frozen at October 15 levels following two storms that had devastated the island.

Executive Order (EO) 839 issued two weeks ago cited Section 14 of the Oil Deregulation Law, which said that “in times of national emergency, when the public interest so requires, the Department of Energy may, during the emergency and under reasonable terms prescribed by it, temporarily take over or direct the operation of any person engaged in the industry."


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