A FORMER director general of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) proposed the establishment of oil depots in the country’s economic zones as a way of taming rising fuel prices.
In a roundtable interview with The Manila Times, Charito Plaza said establishing an oil depot in an economic zone is allowed under PEZA guidelines.
“This will be the best answer to our oil needs, sugar or everything refinery. So, I started to talk with oil companies in the Middle East. And then I have one in China, Indonesia and Russia,” Plaza said.
She said PEZA is identifying islands in the country where it could set up oil depots and refineries that can be leased for free to locators in order to entice foreign companies to open up shop here.
In exchange, locators will give priority to the Philippines’ demands for oil and refined goods, Plaza said.
“We will be able to attract more investors. Surely, the cost will be lower. Then, if there’s a war, we have our oil reserves,” she said.
According to the Department of Energy, petroleum companies have reduced the per-liter price of gasoline by P5, diesel by P2 and kerosene by 70 centavos as of July 19.
Since the start of the year, however, there has been a P19.30 increase in the per-liter price of gasoline, P34.80 for diesel and P29.35 for kerosene.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) predicts the average price of crude oil to be around $106.30 per barrel this year, $95.30 in 2023 and $84.10 in 2024.
The figures are higher than the forecast $100.04 for 2022 and $89.50 for 2023.
Oil supply is projected to stabilize over the medium term. The Development Budget Coordination Committee sees the price of Dubai crude at $90 to $110 this year, $80 to $100 in 2023, and $70 to $90 in 2024 to 2028.
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