The chairman of the Senate Energy Committee is pushing for a measure that proposes to restructure the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) into a pure oil and gas exploration firm.

Senator Win Gatchalian made the statement following the suspension of PNOC Exploration Corporation (PNOC-EC) president and chief executive officer (CEO) Pedro Aquino for approving an oil deal with a Russian firm without permission from the board or from Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.

Gatchalian said the incident highlights the need for a clear policy direction for the entire PNOC.

“The PNOC is spreading itself too thin by doing different things.”

“We could have prevented this situation if we had a more focused PNOC. Unfortunately, the PNOC is spreading itself too thin by doing different things when its focus should be on oil and gas exploration,” the veteran legislator said.

The seasoned lawmaker noted that PNOC-EC is supposed to be tasked with exploration but the recent deal shows its intent to go into petroleum trading, while the PNOC mother company wants to go into liquefied natural gas and the PNOC Renewables Corporation is building solar rooftops.

“We plan to remedy this situation.” 

“We plan to remedy this situation by championing in this Congress a measure that will restructure PNOC by abolishing its existing subsidiaries and directing its focus away from non-exploration activities,” the senator said.

“The bottom line here is that we will refocus the PNOC to purely upstream oil and gas so that it will contribute to securing the country’s energy needs,” he added.

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