THE Department of Energy (DoE) said it is taking advice from the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) on whether to appeal a temporary restraining order (TRO) against a circular requiring oil companies to submit a breakdown of the items that go into the prices of petroleum products.
“The reason why the meeting with OSG is critical is because we need to meet a decision point to decide if it is practical to appeal the TRO and file a motion for reconsideration or just wait for it to lapse,” Assistant Secretary Leonido J. Pulido III told reporters in a chance interview on Wednesday.
“If you think about it, we might just wait,” he added. “The first one, Makati RTC (Regional Trial Court) if I’m not mistaken will lapse by July 22.”
Mr. Pulido said the “unbundling” circular was issued because Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi believes that the DoE decision to ask oil companies for information “and not the dissemination of information is expressedly authorized under the oil deregulation law.”
The unbundling circular is supposed to show the “industry take” or the margin that goes to the oil companies.
“We support the deregulation of the industry because we believe that since the passing of the law, it has been beneficial to the country and allowed competition to flourish but then again, it does not mean that it has robbed the secretary or the DoE of its mandate of being able to implement the proper policies under the oil deregulation law,” Mr. Pulido said.
“That mandate cannot be fully satisfied unless the department can be given all the information required,” he added.
DoE Department Circular No. DC2019-05-008 was signed on May 28, 2019.