Solons call for oil industry regulation

By SHERWIN DE VERA
www.nordis.net

BAGUIO CITY – A lone district solon and partylist representative called on their colleagues in Congress to intervene in the unabated oil price hike. Baguio City representative Mark Go and Bayan Muna congressman Carlos Zarate filed separate house bills seeking the regulation of the country’s oil industry.

Zarate called on Congress to fast track House Bills 1760, 3676 and 3678. The bills intend to renationalize PETRON, regulate the downstream oil industry and centralized procurement of petroleum in the country respectively.

The militant solon called the proposals “three must measures” for the country to be free from the control of oil cartels. He said the dependence to imported petroleum has rendered the country vulnerable to dictates of transnational corporations.

The worst implication of this is that our severe dependence on such corporations, which control not only the importation, refining, and retailing of crude and petroleum products from abroad, but also control the exploration, exploitation, refining, retailing, and even re-exportation of our country’s indigenous petroleum and petroleum-based products,” Rep. Zarate said.

He added that government regulations is warranted for the industry to promote social justice and an equitable national economy given that monopoly over the petroleum industry has made “world oil prices are unreasonably and unjustifiably high.”

Meanwhile, the P5.00-P10.00 oil price disparity between Baguio City and nearby La Union town, and the jeepney operators and drivers petition for 65% increase have increased the reasons of Baguio City Representative Mark Go to press for the amendment of Republic Act 8479 or the Oil Deregulation Law.

The lawmaker said the filed House Bill No. 7352 empowering the Department of Energy to monitor the pump prices of fuel and to set a price ceiling and maximum rate of increases.

In March last year, Go filed House Resolution 853 directing the House Committee on Energy to conduct an investigation on price disparity and possible overpricing by oil companies.

According to the solon, since the investigation started October last year, the reduction of oil price in Baguio have been insignificant. He added that oil companies continue to use their rhetoric and stubborn justification behind the high price of fuel in Baguio.

The summer capital’s gasoline price peaked at P67.00 with the recent price increase. Consumers expect it to go up further with next week’s round of price hikes.# nordis.net

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