Philippine Oil Deregulation – A Coverage Analysis Evaluation


The Coverage As An Output

Embodied within the Republic Act No. 8479, in any other case referred to as the “Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act of 1998,” is the coverage of the state that deregulates the oil business to “foster a truly competitive market which can better achieve the social policy objectives of fair prices and adequate, continuous supply of environmentally-clean and high quality petroleum products” (Congress 1998).

With deregulation, authorities permits market competitors. Which means authorities doesn’t intrude with the pricing, exportation, and importation of oil merchandise, even the institution of shops, storage depots, ocean-receiving amenities, and refineries.

It has been a decade in the past since lawmakers made a proposition that deregulation would safe the Philippines from the vulnerability of oil worth shocks on account of its closely depending on imported oil. However it’s now more and more obvious that many are calling to scrap the legislation as six out of ten Filipinos favor the repeal of RA 8479 (Somosierra 2008).

The Coverage As A Course of

When President Fidel Ramos began his administration in 1992, the nation had already began feeling the results of energy provide deficiencies, with main areas already experiencing energy interruptions. The facility disaster prompted a slowdown within the nationwide financial system for almost three years and prodded the federal government to provoke main reforms as a way to rehabilitate the vitality sector (Viray 1998, p.461-90). In response to an influence provide disaster, Ramos revived the plans to liberalize the oil business that have been reduce brief in the course of the Aquino administration on account of Gulf disaster.

The federal government’s efforts to enact an oil deregulation legislation have been additionally intensified in 1995 when the Oil Value Stabilization Fund (OPSF ) began to threaten the fiscal stability of the financial system. Deregulation was thus seen as the answer to the recurring deficit.

The issue of the OPSF deficit was partly associated to the extremely political nature of oil costs, which inspired authorities to defer worth will increase as a lot as potential as a way to keep away from public protest even on the expense of incurring a fiscal deficit. Nevertheless, authorities mismanagement of the fund additionally included utilizing it for non-oil functions reminiscent of financing different authorities tasks or the general public sector deficit when it was in surplus (Pilapil 1996, p.12).

On the peak of a powerful lobbying effort for deregulation by oil corporations and regardless of the loud opposition of militant teams, the business was finally deregulated in 1996 with the enactment of RA 8180 (the Downstream Oil Trade Deregulation Act of 1996) in Congress.

Nevertheless, Supreme Court docket declared in 1997 the unconstitutionality of RA 8180. The Court docket choice stemmed from three provisions within the legislation that have been deemed to inhibit free competitors and subsequently, violated the anti-trust mandate of the 1987 Structure (Supreme Court docket 1997). However administration Congressmen rapidly re-filed the oil deregulation invoice resulting in the brand new oil deregulation legislation. RA 8479 was then enacted to pave the way in which for the complete deregulation of the oil business. Since then, authorities has not management over the business. What it could possibly do is just monitoring.

Relevant Fashions

The coverage mannequin that greatest describes the coverage course of is Vig and Kraft 1984 mannequin the place coverage phases/phases are characterised by 5 components: 1) agenda setting, 2) coverage formulation, three) coverage adoption, four) coverage implementation, and 5) coverage monitoring.

Alternatively, the mannequin that greatest describes the coverage strategy is Blended Scanning as a result of the Ramos administration resorted to rational planning course of and incrementalized on liberalization plan of the Aquino authorities.


The Coverage Surroundings

Recognized coverage surroundings contains the regime traits of Ramos Administration, socio-economic construction in 1990’s, and the prevailing worldwide monetary affect on the nation’s financial system and politics.

The Coverage Stakeholders

Recognized as stakeholders on this coverage are the Filipino individuals, the President, Legislators, Supreme Court docket, DOE, DOJ, DTI, NEDA, the oil corporations, NGO/advocacy teams, and media.

The Interrelationships Between Coverage Surroundings And Stakeholders

Regardless of a powerful opposition coming instantly from odd individuals, transport teams, and NGOs, the oil deregulation coverage was nonetheless pushed by. It was formulated and instituted underneath the regime of President Ramos who, in his flagship program referred to as the Philippines 2000, envisioned to make the nation globally aggressive by pursuing the thrusts of deregulation, market liberalization, and privatization. The media then uncovered the truth that the largest issue that influenced the formulation of the coverage was the perceived eventual chapter of the Oil Value Stabilization Fund, which had been initially established by President Ferdinand Marcos for the aim of minimizing frequent worth adjustments caused by alternate changes and/or a rise in world market costs of crude oil and imported petroleum merchandise.

Influenced by the Worldwide Financial Fund, Ramos administration argued that there was a must decontrol the business as a result of underneath a regulated surroundings, costs should not allowed to rise and fall with market ranges. Because of this when costs went up, authorities needed to shell out cash to subsidize the distinction between the outdated and the brand new worth.

In line with the Nationwide Financial Growth Authority (NEDA), had the federal government opted to not decontrol, OPSF obligation would have ballooned to a minimum of P8.three billion in 1998. The P8.three billion is equal to the development of greater than four,500 kilometers of provincial roads, 51,000 deep wells of potable water, 25,000 college homes, or free rice for 20% of the poorest Filipinos (Bernales 1998)

The Supreme Court docket in 1998 dominated in favor of the constitutionality of the Downstream Oil Trade Deregulation Act of 1998. Since then, it has been the coverage of the following administrations to decontrol the business. DOE, DTI, DENR, DOST are companies mandated to function the monitoring-arm of the federal government.

Is The Coverage Working?

The reply is clearly “No.” IBON Basis reported that the Oil Deregulation Regulation has additional strengthened the monopoly of the massive oil corporations as computerized oil worth hikes are allowed. Consequently, different oil corporations took benefit of the coverage, mountain climbing pump costs of all petroleum merchandise by round 535% because the Oil Deregulation Regulation was first carried out in April 1996 (Bicol Right now 2007). The coverage can be unable to resolve or, a minimum of, mitigate the results of world oil disaster.


A. Repeating The Course of

a.1 Drawback Definition/Structuring

It has been acknowledged that the issue with oil is way from over as deregulation coverage fails to satisfy its aim to foster a very aggressive market and cheap oil costs. The present president herself, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, acknowledges the truth that the oil disaster is threatening to erode the very fiber of the Philippine society.

In contrast to in 1998, the disaster right now appears to be extra irreparable as america is going through what many economists describe because the worst financial disaster in its historical past, triggering unstoppable skyrocketing of oil costs and costs of foodstuffs world wide. As already acknowledged, the oil disaster is a worldwide one and needs to be addressed not solely on the nationwide degree, however on the worldwide degree as nicely.

However why is the oil disaster a worldwide disaster? Is it actually past the federal government management?

The Philippines, like many different nations, buys the oil on the spot market. By “spot” is supposed, that one buys the oil at a market solely 24 to 48 hours earlier than one takes bodily (spot) supply, versus shopping for it 12 or extra months prematurely. In impact, the spot market inserted a monetary intermediary into the oil patch earnings stream.

Right now, the oil worth is basically set within the two futures markets: London-based Worldwide Petroleum Change (IPE) and the New York Mercantile Change (NYMEX). Right here, merchants or traders purchase or promote sure commodities like oil at a sure date sooner or later, at a specified worth. Mainly, merchants put money into the futures market by shopping for futures contracts referred to as “paper oil” or just paper declare towards oil. The very function of shopping for oil is to not watch for the precise supply of the bodily oil sooner or later, however to promote the paper oil to a different dealer at a better worth. That is how traders interact in widespread hypothesis; and it’s changing into a viscous cycle. Virtually all international locations, together with the Philippines, purchase the oil on the spot market the place the worth is already at its peak.

In a yr 2000 research, Government Intelligence Evaluate (EIR) confirmed that for each 570 “paper barrels of oil”-that is futures contracts masking 570 barrels-traded every year, there was just one underlying bodily barrel of oil. The 570 paper oil contracts pull the worth of the underlying barrel of oil, manipulating the oil worth. If the speculators wager long-that the worth will rise-the mountain of bets pulls up the underlying worth (Valdes 2005).

This solely disproves the favored assumption that oil worth hike has one thing to do with the “law of supply and demand.” In actual fact, as a lot as 60% of right now’s crude oil worth is pure hypothesis pushed by massive dealer banks and hedge funds. It has nothing to do with the handy myths of Peak Oil. It has to do with management of oil and its worth (Engdahl 2008).

In its current assertion, IBON Basis cited a research carried out by the U.S. Senate Everlasting Subcommittee on Investigations, which revealed that 30 p.c or extra of the prevailing crude oil price is pushed solely by hypothesis. IBON additional cited that hypothesis provides about $35 to a barrel of crude oil (Martinez 2008).

a.2 Growing Different

Within the face of the alarming oil worth hike that threatens the survival of odd Filipino individuals, a lot of stakeholders name for various options: 1) modification of the Oil Deregulation Regulation, 2) scrap/repeal the legislation, three) removing of 12% vat on oil, four) search various sources of vitality, and 5) interact in country-to-country oil settlement.

a.three Choices Evaluation

1. Modification of the Deregulation Regulation

As the general public continues to harm from surging oil costs, many coverage makers name to re-examine the Downstream Oil Trade Deregulation Act of 1998. Considered one of whom, is Ilocos Sur Rep. Eric Singson who has sought a number of amendments within the stated legislation to make sure transparency within the pricing of oil merchandise and encourage better competitors within the retail business, which has been underneath the affect of large oil corporations. He cited the necessity to amend Sections 14 and 15 of RA 8479 to strengthen the powers of the Division of Vitality (DOE) so it could possibly successfully perform its mandate to tell and shield the general public from illicit practices within the oil business and to offer extra monetary help for the institution and operation of gasoline stations, which can encourage funding and truthful competitors (Malacanang 2005).

2. Scrap/Repeal the Oil Deregulation Regulation

To many, amending the legislation isn’t sufficient to rectify the skyrocketing costs of oil and oil-based merchandise; they demand for the repeal, as an alternative. A lawmaker from the Decrease Home, Cagayan de Oro Metropolis Rep. Rufus Rodriguez filed Home Invoice 4262 aiming to repeal Republic Act No. 8479, arguing that as an alternative of fostering a aggressive market, the legislation has solely strengthened the oil cartel within the nation and introduced the oil costs up. The invoice additionally seeks to re-establish the Oil Value Stabilization Fund. He articulated that dominant oil corporations nonetheless dictate the worth as a result of even new oil business gamers get their provide from the giants (Sisante 2008).

Militant teams and different non-government organizations have staged rallies and strikes everywhere in the nation in opposition of the deregulation coverage. Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), one of many nation’s outstanding labor teams, contested that cartelization nonetheless exists amidst deregulation. In its current assertion, KMU articulated that with current Dubai oil costs pegged at $97 per barrel (as of third week of September), native worth of diesel is at P49/liter; whereas when Dubai crude was at $97/liter on Nov. 6, 2007, diesel within the Philippines was bought solely at P37.95/liter, or P11.05/liter decrease than the current charges (GMANews.TV 2008).

three. Elimination of 12% VAT on oil

Senator Mar Roxas stated that authorities should heed calls to take away the 12% value-added tax (VAT) on oil and oil merchandise as costs proceed to go up regardless of the decreasing of oil costs on the planet market. Roxas had filed Senate Invoice No. 1962. Nevertheless, in her eighth State of the Nation Tackle (SONA), President Arroyo, acknowledged that will probably be the poor who will endure probably the most from the removing of VAT on oil and electrical energy as it will imply the lack of P80 billion in packages being funded by her tax reform (Arroyo 2008).

four. Different sources of vitality.

Whereas many have engaged themselves within the long-running debate about modification vs. repeal of the legislation, a lot of stakeholders argue that Philippine authorities should, as an alternative, give attention to various sources of vitality to rectify the heavy dependence on imported oil. Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, now thought-about “Father of the Philippine Biofuels Bill,” has hyped biofuel because the miracle product which might decrease oil costs. However an increasing number of scientists are nervous that specializing in biofuels might jeopardize meals manufacturing.

The Philippine LaRouche Society, an more and more rising assume tank group within the nation, says that biofuel advocacy is a dropping proposition because it competes with meals manufacturing for human consumption. The group calls, as an alternative, for the revival of the Bataan Nuclear Energy Plant (BNPP) as quickly as potential to offer the inhabitants with an affordable, dependable, and steady supply of energy to subsequently free the individuals from dependence on oil. The group additional articulates that since that may require large monetary necessities, the Philippine authorities should, subsequently, declare a moratorium on international debt payments-since a lot of that are onerous and merely product of “bankers arithmetic” (Billington 2005).

5. Nation-to-country oil settlement

The Philippine LaRouche Society has lengthy been proposing to the federal government to provoke fast steps to determine bilateral contract agreements with oil-producing international locations of not lower than 12 months’ authorities scheduled deliveries at cheap, mounted costs. Authorities also can enter into commodity-swap agreements with oil-producing international locations.

As a member of the United Nations and different intergovernmental associations like APEC and WTO, the Philippine authorities ought to be part of the rising worldwide name for a good and trustworthy oil buying and selling by de-listing oil as a commodity traded within the futures market.

a.four Deciding the Finest and Most Possible Choice

It have to be recognized to all of the Filipino people who oil deregulation, as a coverage, has did not foster a very aggressive market in the direction of truthful costs and sufficient, steady provide of environmentally-clean and prime quality petroleum merchandise. Proposed resolution # 2 (scrap/repeal the Oil Deregulation Regulation) is subsequently a greater choice. However repealing the Deregulation Regulation isn’t the last word reply to the rise in oil costs. Even when the legislation is repealed, the Philippines will nonetheless be subjected to the identical factors-a rise in oil costs within the international market.

Proposed resolution # 5 (country-to-country oil settlement) can deal with the problem of the oil disaster on the worldwide degree. How concerning the efforts to resolve the disaster on the nationwide degree?

The Philippine authorities should revive the Bataan Nuclear Energy Plant to offer the inhabitants with an affordable, dependable, and steady supply of energy to subsequently free the individuals from dependence on oil. As proposed, authorities should direct sufficient funds, as an alternative for debt servicing, in the direction of the revival and improve of BNPP. Elimination of the whole E-VAT, not solely on oil, should even be considered to ease the ache of the Filipino individuals. By moratorium, authorities does not should extract a pound of flesh out of each Filipino to have the means to fund its packages.

B. Why seemingly “better” choices should not adopted? The Peculiarities of the Philippine Coverage System

From the standpoint of the current administration, amending RA 8479 appears to be tough to undertake as a result of re-regulating the oil business would imply subsidizing oil prices-something like OPSF. To many, this doesn’t work in an period of rising crude costs as a result of it could entail authorities sources. That is the place debt moratorium is available in as an efficient fiscal technique. However moratorium, to many skeptics, is unwise as a result of they worry the blackmail or retaliation of the multinational collectors. Our leaders should learn the way then President Nestor Kirchner of Argentina defied the predatory monetary establishments, averring that “There’s life after the IMF.”

Alternatively, many leaders deem country-to-country oil settlement not possible to implement as the enormous oil corporations have nonetheless robust affect on the policy-making course of within the nation. On the a part of the oil corporations, will probably be an enormous loss if authorities will assert its energy to have a bilateral settlement with any of the oil-producing nation. Additionally, many leaders think about the Philippines as a small nation with no voice within the worldwide meeting. However it’s a matter of getting “big balls,” to place it in a figurative language. In any case, they’re the leaders and are mandated by the Structure to guard and promote the overall welfare.

One other peculiarity of the Philippine coverage system is the adverse notion in the direction of nuclear vitality. BNPP has been stigmatized as being environmentally harmful and as being related to “corruption.” The very fact of the matter is, the expertise has already advanced and been modernized. The Philippine authorities spent $2.three billion to construct BNPP with out producing a kilowatt of electrical energy. It’s excessive time to revisit the outdated technique to lastly free the nation from dependence on imported oil.

It’s value mentioning that the Worldwide Atomic Vitality Company inspected the facility plant in Bataan early this yr and reported that this may very well be rehabilitated, in full compliance with excessive worldwide security surroundings requirements, in a minimum of 5 years at a price of $800 million (Burgonio 2008). The Philippine LaRouche Society emphasizes the significance of declaring debt moratorium as a fiscal technique to start out the rehabilitation. The group argues that the Philippines is servicing the debt over US $10 billion per yr, which is greater than sufficient to start out the complete operation of BNPP (PLS 2008).


With the popularity that oil disaster is a worldwide oil disaster, affecting the lives of all inhabitants of our planet, it’s incumbent, subsequently, upon the management of the Philippines to instantly take the next steps:

A) To right away repeal the oil deregulation legislation, for the federal government to say its sovereign energy to have management over the oil business and financial system as a complete.

B) To suggest at any worldwide summit or meeting that oil, being a commodity, important to the continuation of human life, be de-listed as a commodity traded within the futures market, thereby escaping the clutches of unscrupulous individuals and speculative monetary establishments.

C) To provoke fast steps to determine bilateral contract agreements with petroleum-producing international locations of not lower than 12 months’ authorities scheduled deliveries at cheap, mounted costs.

D) To design a complete vitality improvement program, reminiscent of nuclear energy plant being probably the most cost-efficient supply of vitality up to now, for the aim of liberating our nation from full dependence on imported vitality sources. To this finish, moratorium on international debt have to be taken into consideration as a paramount fiscal technique.

The disaster, which we now face as a nation, requires understanding of the issues by diligent research and concomitant braveness to do what is correct for the good thing about the current and future Filipino generations.

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