The Department of Energy (DoE) said the bottlenecks that are hindering the delivery of petroleum products to ports in the provinces hit by Typhoon Odette (international name: Rai) have been removed.
â€œThe oil companies assured the DoE that we had adequate supplies. The challenge was how the ships carrying the petroleum products can get to the ports, â€said Energy Undersecretary Felix William B. Fuentebella in a briefing on Tuesday.
Mr Fuentebella said the energy department worked with the Philippine Coast Guard to ensure tankers are safely steered to the unloading facilities after sunken ships created hazards in some ports.
A shortage of petroleum products has hampered damage assessment and restoration of services in typhoon areas.
The DoE said it had estimates of National Grid Corp.’s fuel needs. of the Philippines and distribution companies that use fuel for their trucks to perform repairs, as well as the fuel needs of hospitals that run on generator power.
The DoE announced that the national inventory is currently sufficient for 22 days.
Rino E. Abad, director of the Oil Management Bureau, said 66% of gas stations in the Central Visayas are operational. The corresponding availability rates are 79% in the western Visayas and 88% in the eastern Visayas, with most of the inoperative stations being concentrated in South Leyte.
In the Caraga region of northeast Mindanao, gas station availability is 93%.
Mr Abad said he had received reports that some gas stations were selling gasoline for up to 100 pence a liter and reminded them of potential overpricing penalties authorized by the Consumer Act or Republic Act 7394.
“The challenge for the inspectors now is to document the stations that sell overpriced products,” Abad said, adding that the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group was deployed with DoE inspectors.
Various energy companies have announced relief measures for the areas hit by Typhoon Odette.
Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) said Tuesday that it will supply 20,000 liters of diesel for PLDT, Inc. and Smart Communications, Inc. generator sets to help restore telecommunications services in Cebu.
Meralco said it has also dispatched 50 engineers and linemen to expedite clearance work and restoration of electricity in Cebu.
Meralco has contacted the Philippine Navy and PLDT for help transporting its personnel and vehicles to deliver 11 generator sets and heavy equipment to their locations.
The Aboitiz Group, Visayan Electric Company, Inc. and AboitizPower Corp. reported independently. (AboitizPower) that electricity has been restored on Banilad Road and ML Quezon Avenue in Cebu.
â€œThe AboitizPower Distribution supply group also has teams from its subsidiaries Davao Light and Power, Inc., Subic Enerzone Corp. and Cotabato Light and Power Co. are called in to expedite the cleanup of rubble and restoration of power across the city, “the group said in a statement.
San Miguel Corp. (SMC) said his food donations to the typhoon-hit provinces were valued at pesos 30 million on Monday.
“We are making every effort to reach and help all affected provinces – with particular focus on the hardest hit areas,” said Ramon S. Ang, President and Chief Executive Officer of SMC, in a statement.
“Our priority is to bring as much food supplies as possible from our facilities across the country to the affected provinces in the Visayas and Mindanao and to ensure that these are distributed to the affected families as soon as possible,” he added. – Marielle C. Lucenio