President Benigno S. Aquino III has issued Administrative Order (AO) No. 6 organizing the Inter-Agency Energy Contingency Committee (IECC) tasked to ensure the continuous adequate and stable supply of petroleum and other energy sources in the country.
The President signed AO No. 6 on Thursday, in view of recent developments in the Middle East, specifically in oil-rich Libya, a factor considered as one of the causes of the soaring oil prices in the world market.
AO No. 6 states that although there is no imminent danger of oil supply disruption in the country, the President deemed it prudent to organize the IECC as a “precautionary measure to ensure that the necessary preparations are in place in the event the situation deteriorates.”
It further states that the coordination among all government agencies is essential in the evaluation of the country’s existing contingency plan and its effective implementation in case the need arises.
The IECC will be composed of the Departments of Energy, Finance, Budget and Management, Justice, Trade and Industry, Agriculture, National Defense, Interior and Local Government, Transportation and Communications, Foreign Affairs, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and the National Security Council (NSC).
The Department of Energy (DOE) shall be the lead agency and the Secretary shall be the IECC Chair. The departments and the government agencies will be represented by their respective heads or an alternate representative with the rank of undersecretary.
The IECC shall perform the following responsibilities with regard to the evaluation and enhancement of the existing contingency plan to undertake a comprehensive audit of available resources of their respective agencies; validate its viability; assess the need to operationalize the proposed plan; and, submit reports to the Office of the President.
The President likewise directed the IECC members to perform the following responsibilities:
The DOE shall provide the overall direction in the enhancement of existing policies and guidelines while the Department of Finance shall ensure that proposed plans are consistent with the government’s fiscal policies.
The Department of Budget and Management shall identify procedures for the utilization and reallocation of funds consistent with existing rules and regulations of the Commission on Audit.
On the other hand, the Department of Justice shall ensure that the proposed plans are consistent with existing laws, rules and regulations while the Department of Trade and Industry shall monitor the effects of prices of other commodities as a result of any supply disruption and provide measures to remedy the same.
The Department of Agriculture shall provide information and represent the concerns of the agricultural sector with respect to the effects of any supply disruption.
The Department of National Defense shall integrate the proposed IECC plans with that of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, and the Department of Interior and Local Government shall consult and coordinate with all local government units and the Philippine National Police relative to the proposed plans.
The Department of Transportation and Communications shall be responsible for providing effective representation of the transport sector and coordination with all transport organizations.
The Department of Foreign Affairs shall provide linkages with the international community for up-to-date information on global developments while the NEDA shall give advice on the possible socio-economic impact of the IECC plans and ensure its alignment with the country’s economic policy.
The NSC shall advise on matters affecting national security and energy security.
The other departments and government offices and agencies, including government-owned and controlled corporations shall also extend assistance and support to the IECC. (PNA)