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Philipines energy crisis looms due to escalating oil hike

Iloilo City -- Iloilo City -- The Government has made the call to people to appreciate the looming crisis arising out of the unabated price of oil in the world market. According to Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye the country should face this challenge squarely and close ranks.

The DOE said there were no indications that crude oil prices would go down because of rising global demand especially from emerging economies like China and India. Right now, a price of crude per barrel has reached $ 65 to a barrel and diesel is also increasing fast.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has given the Department of Energy instructions to give regular bulletins to the public on the direction and impact of the looming oil crisis due to the spiraling oil prices.

Arroyo called on all sectors and communities to engage in a serious, consistent effort to conserve energy and support all means to bring down overall consumption of energy and exploit alternative sources of fuel.

For the first five months of this year, oil imports increased by $2.3 billion from $1.8 billion despite the 8.6 percent decline in the demand for oil compared to the previous year.

The government has said that the looming oil price crisis will be more severe than 1974, 1979 and 1991 is certainly an issue far more important than politics, and its impact will hurt the entire nation.

In answer to the crisis, one of the steps being undertaken by the government is to tap the country's indigenous and renewable energy sources - especially geothermal, hydro, solar and other alternative fuels for transportation. The government will also soon launch the Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) stations. Several units of CNG buses are now undergoing road testing.

In line with this, the DOE and other agencies of the Executive branch are also working closely with Congress to craft a law that will be most responsive to the country's energy independence agenda.

Press Secretary Bunye said the looming crisis is not a simple test of our resiliency as a people, but a real challenge to our economic survival. He strongly urged people to act now to avoid complications later.

The DOE said there were no indications that crude oil prices would go down because of rising global demand especially from emerging economies like China and India. Right now, a price of crude per barrel has reached $ 65 to a barrel and diesel is also increasing fast.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has given the Department of Energy instructions to give regular bulletins to the public on the direction and impact of the looming oil crisis due to the spiraling oil prices.

Arroyo called on all sectors and communities to engage in a serious, consistent effort to conserve energy and support all means to bring down overall consumption of energy and exploit alternative sources of fuel.

For the first five months of this year, oil imports increased by $2.3 billion from $1.8 billion despite the 8.6 percent decline in the demand for oil compared to the previous year.

The government has said that the looming oil price crisis will be more severe than 1974, 1979 and 1991 is certainly an issue far more important than politics, and its impact will hurt the entire nation.

In answer to the crisis, one of the steps being undertaken by the government is to tap the country's indigenous and renewable energy sources - especially geothermal, hydro, solar and other alternative fuels for transportation. The government will also soon launch the Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) stations. Several units of CNG buses are now undergoing road testing.

In line with this, the DOE and other agencies of the Executive branch are also working closely with Congress to craft a law that will be most responsive to the country's energy independence agenda.

Press Secretary Bunye said the looming crisis is not a simple test of our resiliency as a people, but a real challenge to our economic survival. He strongly urged people to act now to avoid complications later.

Editorial Notes: For additional coverage see Gov't reiterates call on the Filipino people to conserve energy To save gas, GMA asks Pinoys to walk, or Arroyo calls for drastic energy conservation measures as oil prices soar (Xinhuanet). This is significant for the governments recognition of the problem and evident desire to take action. Only Nicaragua has preceded the Philippenes in announcing an energy emergency and 'going public' with what needs to be done, no doubt the list of such countries will grow. If they take real steps to reduce their dependence on oil, then verily may we say.. "..And the last shall be first..", i.e. the last countries 'into' the cheap energy bonanza (a.k.a. industrial development) will be first countries 'out', the first to adapt to the post petroleum era. -LJ

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