Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said on Saturday that drastic energy conservation measures must be enforced to deal with the looming oil crisis brought about by the steady increase in crude prices in the world market.
Arroyo also suggested that the people use bicycles or walk instead of taking a ride when going to nearby places.
"It's really better if people ride the bike like in other countries such as China, where many people use it," Arroyo said in a radio interview.
Meanwhile, presidential spokesman Ignacio Bunye said "strict energy conservation is now a matter of national survival".
He said the Malacanang presidential palace will start reducing the consumption of electricity "to set the example in both energy conservation and fiscal discipline".
"Lights are dimmed and all cooling systems are turned off early in the Malacanang complex," he said.
Oil prices in the world market have soared from 30 US dollars per barrel one and a half years ago to 67 dollars Friday, bringing high inflation in oil importing countries like the Philippines.
"I am appealing to the people to seriously consider conserving energy amid a possible energy crisis which is beyond government's control," Bunye said.
He said the increasing oil prices in the world market would definitely have a great impact on the prices of oil products in the country.
The Department of Energy (DOE) said the country's oil import bill amounts to 324 billion pesos (5.78 billion US dollars) annually. The imported oil accounts for about 37.01 percent of the country's energy requirements.