The Philippine Department of Energy (DOE) has temporarily relaxed the 10% bioethanol blending requirement in gasoline with at least a Research Octane Number (RON) of 97 due to insufficient local supply. DOE has issued Department Circular (DC) 2015-06-005 entitled Mandatory Use of Biofuels Blend, which amends DC 2011-02-0001.
Oil companies that will sell non-E10 gasoline must first formally notify the DOE’s Oil Industry Management Bureau. The notice should include specific locations where non-E10 products will be sold. Further, they are required to clearly indicate, through proper labeling of their dispenser units, that the said gasoline does not contain E10, to distinguish it from other premium plus-grade E10 products.
The Philippine Biofuels Act of 2006, which requires the use of clean alternative fuels such as bioethanol-blended gasoline, mandated a 10% ethanol content in unleaded, premium and special gasoline products. However, the DOE said that the local production of ethanol is no longer enough to keep up with local market demand. Nine years after the implementation of the Biofuels Act of 2006, locally produced bioethanol accounted for only 27% of domestic bioethanol requirement, which is equivalent to 115 million liters. Additionally, locally produced bioethanol is more expensive than imported bioethanol. As such, oil firms preferred to import bioethanol, despite the fact that under the law imported bioethanol would only be allowed within four years of the implementation of the Biofuels Act or up to 2013 only.