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DOE to elevate fuel cost unbundling case to High Court after losing in CA

The Department of Energy (DOE) indicated it will elevate the fuel cost unbundling case to the Supreme Court (SC) to fight for the enforcement of the Circular that it has issued primarily to effect transparency in the fuel pricing of the oil companies.

The department said that will be its next step after the Court of Appeals (CA) issued a decision upholding the validity of the writ of preliminary injunction earlier issued by a regional trial court.
“The DOE intends to seek a reconsideration of the decision, and raise the issue with the Supreme Court, if necessary,” the agency said.

It emphasized that “while the writ has prevented the DOE from implementing Department Circular No. DC2019-05-0008 on the unbundling of oil prices during the course of the case in the trial court, the CA decision did not rule on the validity or invalidity of the Circular.”

The department said its push for unbundling or segregation of cost components in fuel prices would be vital in ensuring transparency in the prices of petroleum products being retailed at the pumps.

“The DOE issued the Circular to help strengthen the agency’s capability to monitor oil prices more effectively,” it said.

The department added “the unbundling of oil prices would foster greater market transparency by establishing the trends in the prices of oil and finished petroleum products,” which in turn, the DOE claimed “would help ensure a level playing field within the oil industry, while upholding the best interests of consumers.”

Nevertheless, when the fuel cost unbundling Circular was implemented last year, the oil companies contested it at the Courts and they scored legal victory versus its implementation.

The DOE argued the cases filed by the oil companies to nullify the Circular “were based on the wrong notion that the supposed trade secrets they are being obligated to submit to the DOE will be divulged to the public.”

The department qualified that it has constantly apprised and informed the oil firms that “all confidential information shall be strictly kept confidential.”

In the propounded fuel cost unbundling policy, it was stipulated that the oil companies  “shall strictly comply with the submission of the formal notice of price adjustments on a per-liter basis.”

In particular, the DOE wants four components to be segregated, including: international cost; taxes and duties; the biofuels component in fuels; and then the ‘oil company take’ fraction.

For the international price components, those to be itemized are: import cost for both crude and finished products; freight cost, insurance and foreign exchange rate; while on taxes and duties, such shall include import duties, excise taxes, value added tax and other imposts.

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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