DOE chief pushes amendment to PNOC chapter

By Lenie Lectura – January 25, 2019
from Business Mirror

ENERGY Secretary Alfonso Cusi is strongly pushing for the amendment of the Philippine National Oil Co.’s (PNOC) charter so the state firm can perform its mandate.

“I already submitted the amendment to Congress,” Cusi said.

PNOC, being a government-owned and -controlled corporation (GOCC), could not implement vital projects on time because Congress must first approve its budget.

For instance, PNOC was supposed to take the lead in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, but Cusi said it’s been two years and yet PNOC has not secured approval from Congress.

In 2017, PNOC’s budget request was deferred after asking for funds for its proposed LNG integrated facility.

“I was hoping the lead was PNOC, that they will be able to do it. While they were doing it, they were looking for a partner. So, I said, why don’t they do it? But they couldn’t because they were still making studies and budget and that they have to present it. But it’s been almost two years already,” Cusi said. “This is PNOC’s money and it still needs approval for use of its own money when it already has its own board.”

Cusi is PNOC’s chairman.

The energy chief said a GOCC is created to “add value for the country, give opportunity to the people.”

“They have assets, resources. They can use this to help improve the economic situation. That’s the purpose of GOCCs. They are not supposed to be the liability of the country, but is supposed to help, improve the lives of the people in this country,” Cusi said. Signed on November 9, 1973, Presidential Decree 334 created PNOC due to a compelling need for the government to embark on measures that will help ensure a stable supply of petroleum products in order to sustain the growth of the economy and the social well-being of the nation.

By 2030, PNOC should have provided vital energy resource/development and energy infrastructure, conducive to a clean environment and balanced and sustainable economic growth.

PNOC’s mission, according to its web site, is to develop and implement projects and programs in a financially prudent and responsible manner aimed at increasing the country’s self-sufficiency level in oil, gas and other energy resources.

“Hypothetical situation. If an organization or unit is not doing its purpose, what do you do with it? If we can’t invest because our hands are tied and we just wait for rental proceeds, then PNOC is not living up to its mission anymore. Let’s change the fiscal policy. Let’s amend the charter. If we can’t, then let’s just abolish it,” Cusi said.