DOE Sec urged: Probe nationwide fuel prices

>> Thursday, July 5, 2018

Baguio excessive high prices cited 

By Dexter A. See 

BAGUIO CITY – The city council approved a resolution urging Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi to issue a directive that will probe rates of oil companies rates for  greater accountability and transparency in the oil industry for consumers nationwide.
The resolution authored by councilors Benny Bomogao, Michael Lawana and Faustino Olowan stated it had been noted for a period of time  unusual high prices of oil products in the city, the highest in for Northern Luzon, that went as high as more than P18 difference with prevailing oil prices in other cities and provinces.
The resolution also noted that in several fora, consultations and legislative inquiries, no clear and satisfactory explanations were elicited from local retailers of different players, especially the ‘Big 3’companies, allegedly dictating oil prices in the city resulting in huge price disparity between prices of oil in the city and outside.
Section 14 paragraph b of Republic Act 8479, known as the Oil Industry Deregulation Law, empowers the Energy Secretary to act on a report from any person of unreasonable rise in the prices of petroleum products and shall be immediately disposed of pursuant to existing rules and regulations provided for by law.
Section 15 paragraph b in relation to the above provision empowers the Energy Secretary to require, by general or special orders, persons or entities engaged in a particularly activity of the industry, to answer specific questions in writing, furnishing to the Secretary such information as he may require as to the organization, business, conduct, practices, management, in relation to other corporations, partnerships, and individuals of the respective persons or entities filing such reports or answers.
Such reports and answers shall be filed with the Secretary under oath and within such reasonable time as the Secretary may prescribed.
During a recent consultation with oil retailers in the city, energy officials reported that the industry take of local businessmen had been P8 compared to the industry take of their counterparts in the lowlands despite the fact that the transport cost of oil products from the lowlands to the city is P0.18 per liter.
Worst, local oil retailers passed on the blame to their mother companies which are allegedly dictating the oil prices charged to consumers when getting their supply from their respective oil terminals in San Fernando City, La Union, only 68.2 kilometers away.
Energy officials attributed significant reduction in oil prices, at least P2 per litter of gasoline and at least P6 per liter for fuel, to efforts of Baguio officials and concerned sectors of the city, in bringing to the attention of the agency the alleged manipulation done by local oil retailers in dictating oil prices which are way above the supposed suggested retail prices of oil in their gas stations around the city.


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