By SHERWIN DE VERA
BAGUIO CITY — In a forum-dialogue organized by the Department of Energy, lawmakers from this city said it is time for the oil industry to be regulated.
Councilor Benny Bomogao proposed the capping of industry take to control the rise of fuel prices. His recommendation stemmed from the presentation of Director Rino Abad of the Oil Industry Management Bureau, showing the significant amount, added by local oil players, pushing pump prices to rise steeply in the city.
He also expressed his belief that “there are clear indications” local retailers are controlling the price.
“You said the increase in price is dictated by the central office, dapat pareparehas sana ang itataas ng presyo ninyo,” Bomogao said, addressing the representatives from Caltex, Shell and Petron.
Michael Lawana, head of the Liga ng Barangay in Baguio said he has been hearing the same answers from the retailers since they called for an inquiry on the steep rise of oil prices in February last year.
“I will ask the Sangguniang Panlungsod to pass a resolution to urge the secretary of energy to fast track the memorandum that will unbundle the costing of fuel prices including the industry take,” said Lawana.
Abad revealed that DoE has already requested oil companies to submit their unbundled costing in Congress. However, the details on the industry take were not included.
“Intimate matter kasi yan sa mga oil companies,” he explained, but added that scenarios like this, referring to Baguio city’s steep price difference from nearby provincial centers, are “pushing them to the wall” to craft a memorandum for oil companies to unbundle pump prices.
“We have been defending deregulations despite its shortcomings, pero kung kayo mismo ngayon na naririto ay you cannot explain the substantial difference, then we can no longer defend the system,” the director said. # nordis.net