(EnergyAsia, April 26 2011, Tuesday) — After years of debate and planning, the Philippine government has begun building a strategic oil reserve to provide for emergency fuel in the event of supply disruptions.
 
In in a speech marking the 35th anniversary of the Philippine National Oil Co.-Exploration Corp. (PNOC-EC) last week, President Benigno Aquino III said the country needed the stockpile as the political turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa has created great uncertainty in global oil supply and prices.
 
The Philippines relies heavily on imported oil for its fuel, making it vulnerable to supply shocks.
 
The government recently released a 450 million peso fuel subsidy for public transportation to help cushion the public against rising prices. (US$1=30 peso).
 
PNOC-EC, the oil and coal arm of state-run Philippine National Oil Co, has been tasked to stockpile diesel to boost the country’s energy security and provide competitively-priced fuel for the local market.
 
Its first shipment of 50 million liters of diesel is set to arrive in May, and will likely be stored in tanks in Subic, north of Manila, and in Quezon province, south of the capital.