Another development, which had profound effects on the oil industry, is the passage of the Clean Air Act or RA 8749. The law sets more stringent fuel specifications over a period of time to reduce emission that pollutes our air quality. All of the requirements of the law have been implemented, starting with the phase-out of leaded gasoline in Metro Manila in April 2000 and all over the country in December 2000.


Table 4. CAA Fuel Quality Standards
Fuel CAA Requirement Effectivity
Unleaded Gasoline - -
Aromatics 45% max 1 January 2000
Benzene 4% max 1 January 2000
AKI 87.5 min 1 January 2001
RVP 9 psi max 1 January 2001
Aromatics 35% max 1 January 2003
Benzene 2% max 1 January 2003
Automotive Diesel - -
Sulfur 0.20% max 1 January 2001
Cetane No./Index 48 min 1 January 2001
Sulfur 0.05% max 1 January 2004
Industrial Diesel - -
Sulfur 0.30% max 1 January 2001


The DOE-led TCPPA pursuant to R.A. 8749, known as the Philippine Clean Air Act of 1998 has covered activities for setting petroleum standards following strict time-bound and quality-specific targets under the CAA mandate and the DOE initiative on alternative fuels.


a. Conventional Fuels 
• PNS 1131:2000 – Unleaded Premium Motor Gasoline Specification
• PNS 1131:2001 – Unleaded Motor Gasoline Specification
• PNS 1131:2002/DOE 001:2002 – Unleaded Motor Gasoline Specification
• PNS/DOE QS 004:2003 – Diesel Oils Specification
• PNS/DOE QS 005:2005 – Liquefied Petroleum Gases (LPG) Specification
• PNS/DOE QS 001:2005 – Unleaded Motor Gasoline Specification
• PNS/DOE QS 006:2005 – Fuel Oils (Bunker) Specification

b. Blended Fuel
• PNS/DOE QS 008:2006 – E-Gasoline Fuel Specification

c. Alternative Fuels
• PNS 2020:2003/DOE 002:2003 – Coconut Methyl Ester (B100)
• PNS/DOE QS 007:2005 – Anhydrous Bioethanol Fuel Specification

d. Other Fuel-Related Products
• PNS/DOE QS 003:2003 – Two-stroke (2T) Lubricating Oils Specification

e. Petroleum Product Facilities
Guided by government's pursuit for cleaner and safer environment, the DOE and the BPS of DTI constituted the Technical Committee on Petroleum Processes and Facilities (TCPPF) in 2003 to develop and formulate the following standards for retail outlets:
• PNS/DOE FS 1-1:2005 – Petroleum Products – Retail Outlet-Health, Safety and Environment
• PNS/DOE FS 1-2:2005 - Petroleum Products – Retail Outlet-Underground Storage Tank
• PNS/DOE FS 1-3:2005 – Petroleum Products – Retail Outlet-Piping System
• PNS/DOE FS 1-4:2005 – Petroleum Products – Retail Outlet-Dispensing Pumps
• PNS/DOE FS:2:2006 – LPG Refilling Plant – General Requirements
• PNS/DOE FS:3:2006 – Auto-LPG Dispensing Station

Oil Market Monitoring

To provide consumers greater access to petroleum products that are of high quality and of the right quantity, the Retail Market Monitoring and Special Concerns Division (RMMSCD) of the Oil Industry Management Bureau (OIMB) regularly monitors and inspects the retail marketing business of petroleum products, specifically liquid fuels and LPG. Such monitoring and inspection also ensure that motorist and LPG users are getting the exact value of products for their money's worth.

Information Education and Communication Campaign

One of the many ways to increase awareness is the conduct of focus-based Information, Education and Communication (IEC) Campaigns for industry stakeholders, other government agencies, private sector, academe and the consuming public in general.

A comprehensive communication plan to educate the public on safety and best business practices is well underway. Various media were tapped to ensure wider distribution of information. Through the conduct of IECs in strategic areas, RMMSCD expects to promote and eventually inculcate and advocate the culture of safety to the public's daily activities.


Creation of an Independent Review Committee (IRC) to review the oil deregulation law (R.A 8479)

In the wake of successive oil price hikes in 2005, several sectors clamored for the review of Republic Act (RA) 8479 or the Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Law. As such, the DOE in response to the directive of President G. M. Arroyo had issued Department Orders 2005-02-001 and 2005-05-005 in February and May 2005 and created a six-man Independent Review Committee (IRC). The IRC was tasked to review the Law and correspondingly give recommendations; taking into consideration the views and opinions of all affected sectors with emphasis in balancing the interests of both the consumers and the oil industry. The IRC team was composed of members who were professionals from the private sector and respected in their individual fields.

After intense consultations with the various industry stakeholders, the IRC Report was formally turned over to the DOE on July 7, 2005. Among the salient findings and recommendations were: (a) oil product price increases were mainly due to peso devaluations and increase in international prices of crude since the Philippines practically imports its oil requirements; (b) competition for market share clearly existed among industry players (both major and new) and no concrete evidence of cartelization had been found; (c) there should be no change in the policy of the state --- meaning the deregulation of the oil industry should continue; and, (d) that the role of DOE should be expanded to enable it to enforce strictly the rules and regulations.

The DOE later presented the IRC Report to the Senate Committee on Energy Chaired by Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago on January 16, 2006 during the Committee's Hearing on Proposed Bills Amending and/or Repealing RA 8479 (Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Law).

Senator Santiago agreed with the conclusions and recommendations of the IRC, which was later confirmed by IRC Chairman Charlie Alindada. Accordingly, the Committee on Energy and the DOE agreed that the DOE will submit to the Senate Committee on Energy a substitute Bill amending RA 8479, based on the IRC conclusions and recommendations, particularly on enforcement.

On March 9, 2006, the DOE submitted to the Senate Committee on Energy the DOE's proposed Substitute Bill, which seeks to amend R.A. 8479.

Click to view Summary of Department of Energy / Philippine National Standards (DOE/PNS)