The Department of Energy (DOE) will evaluate how the closure of refineries will impact local prices as well as the country’s energy security.
“We will closely monitor the developments as we affirm to be always with our stakeholders in finding solutions to whatever hurdles the industry is facing,” Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said.
Cusi made the statement amid reports that Petron Corporation is closing down its refinery in Bataan.
“Based on news reports, the company is still in the middle of dialogues with the government regarding tax issues. We at the DOE are looking into the taxation concerns raised in coordination with the Department of Finance,” Cusi said.
Earlier, Petron Corporation president and chief executive officer Ramon Ang said the company finds refinery business as “very difficult” due to the pandemic and an uneven playing field against importers in terms of taxes.
Cusi said the DOE will respect the decision of Petron Corporation’s management should it pursue its plans to shut down the plant.
“Whatever business measures Petron will arrive at in the course of its discussion with the concerned parties, we at the DOE will respect the management’s decision,” Cusi said.
However, he said the department has yet to receive a notification from Petron about the matter.
Last August, Shell announced it would shut down its oil refinery in Batangas, leaving Petron as the lone refinery in the country.