MANILA – Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr is encouraging local energy firms to tap fuel supplies from “the most competitive sources”, including Russia, to mitigate the impact of high prices on consumers, Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla said.
The Southeast Asian country might need to turn to Russia to fulfil its fuel needs, Marcos said last week, despite Western sanctions on Moscow following its invasion of Ukraine.
“As we have learned from Ukraine, there is always the threat of war breaking out somewhere in some parts of the world and this has to be taken into account as well by our downstream oil industry,” Lotilla said on Monday in a forum organised by the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines.
But the final decision to buy Russian fuel lies with the oil companies themselves, which are operating in a deregulated environment, he said.
“As to the business decisions that have to be made…that also of course has to be balanced with the concern of the downstream oil players for their own stability of supply,” Lotilla said.
A number of local oil companies are currently locked into long-term supply contracts, which also need to be taken into account, he said. — Reuters