MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Energy (DOE) will conduct another audit of the 2008 books of all oil companies.
In a meeting with the country’s petroleum players yesterday, Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes said he would summon oil companies to explain the recent oil price adjustments which had not been known to the public.
“We had a most productive meeting with the major and independent oil companies. At the meeting, we came up with some general agreements,” he said.
He said the oil firms, both the big and small players, have agreed to an audit of their 2008 books.
The energy chief said this will flesh out concerns from consumers on oil pricing of petroleum companies.
“The major and independent oil companies pledged to submit to us as soon as their 2008 audited statements are prepared, which should be by the middle of next month,” he said.
Reyes said this will also assure the public that their interest are aptly protected against undue pricing adjustments.
“Oil companies will submit their audited financial statements for the year ending 2008 as soon as possible to DOE,” he said.
The oil firms even agreed to reveal their volume imports which earlier been a contested issue among the oil players, consumer groups and the DOE.
“The DOE will more closely monitor the submissions of documents as regards importation, volume, prices and dates. This will enable us to more effectively protect the public,” he said.
He said consumers, led by the Consumer and Oil Price Watch, were represented during the meeting.
“We agreed that there will be closer dialogue (between oil companies and COPW) in the interest of protecting the public and in ensuring that prices are fair and reasonable,” he said.
The DOE, he said, will allow reputable auditing firms to undertake the audit.
“The DOE will audit the 2008 financial statements of oil companies using reputable auditing firms. We want to find if their profits are reasonable. They are supposed to make profits but not unreasonable profits. In the previous audit that we conducted on these companies by SGV and UAP –the ROI (return on investment) was about four to six percent. The four to six percent is the result of the audit of the SGV when it was made last year on their rate of return,” he said.–Donnabelle L. Gatdula, Philippine Star