Cutting fuel prices via ethanol imports illegal under Biofuels Law: DOE

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 24 2018 11:24 PM

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MANILA - It's not possible to bring down gasoline prices by allowing oil firms to import cheaper bioethanol because this is against the law, an official of the Department of Energy (DOE) said Monday.

Energy Undersecretary Wimpy Fuentebella said the Biofuels Act states that oil firms have to use locally produced bioethanol. 

"Nandun yan sa batas (It's in the law)," Fuentebella said in an interview with DZMM Teleradyo. 

An official of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) earlier suggested that the government should allow oil firms to use cheaper bioethanol from abroad to help bring down fuel prices.

ECOP acting president Sergio Ortiz-Luis estimated that gasoline prices could go down by P2 to P3 if oil firms are allowed to use imported ethanol.

Fuentebella, however, said this would require amending the Biofuels Act.

"Pag dating sa biofuel, limitado ang galaw ng Department of Energy," he said. 

(When it comes to biofuel, the Department of Energy's moves are limited.)

The Biofuels Act says all gasoline sold in the country should have a 10 percent by volume blend of bioethanol.