CANCELS BUYING TENDERPhilippine National Oil Co. late Tuesday night canceled a crude oil buying tender for 900,000 to 1.8 million barrels of Persian Gulf crude oil.

The tender for cargoes loading in July closed Tuesday. A spokeswoman in Manila for PNOC said the bids received for Dubai crude were around $15 a barrel, higher than the company had expected.

Dubai crude for May loading is assessed at around $14.30 a barrel, traders say. June and July cargoes are more expensive as traders expect the market to improve. PNOC will re-issue the tender later and expects the market to soften further, the spokeswoman said.

Traders had held back from offering aggressive prices to the Philippines

because the market is too uncertain, market sources said.



MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine cabinet approved guidelines Wednesday for electric power rationing to cope with an acute shortage that has resulted in daily blackouts across the city.

Under the voluntary plan agreed with business leaders, more than 300 office buildings in Manila will not use power from the capital's grid for five Mondays, from April 23 to May 28. April 30 will be exempted because May 1 is a holiday.

Jose Concepcion, trade and industry secretary, said the cuts would enable the National Power Corp. to ensure generating capacity for the remaining days of the week.

"The culprit is the drought. We don't have sufficient rain to fill our dams which generate electricity," Ruben Torres, labor secretary, said.