MANILA, Philippines — The House Committee on Energy supports the suggestion of the Department of Energy (DOE) to amend the oil deregulation law.
The DOE believes that amending the law is the only solution to curb the consecutive increases in the price of petroleum products.
The panel also wants the government to closely look into the reasons for the price hikes being implemented by oil companies.
It also wants the government to be given the power to solve such price hikes.
House Committee on Energy chairman Representative Juan Miguel Macapagal Arroyo said oil companies should not use the oil deregulation law as a blanket authority to increase the price of their products at the expense of the consumers.
“I welcome the proposal of the DOE to amend the Oil Deregulation Law after oil prices escalated over the past eight weeks. As chairman of the House Committee on Energy, I have long pushed for a special mechanism to prevent overpricing in emergency situations,” Arroyo said.
“The Oil Deregulation Law does not give oil companies blanket authority to take advantage of consumers,” he added.
Bayan Muna Partylist Representative Carlos Zarate, meanwhile, urged the DOE to support House Bill 4711 which aims to amend the said law.
“We now challenge Department of Energy Sec. Alfonso Cusi to ask Pres. Duterte to certify House Bill 4711 to again regulate the downstream oil industry as well as the unbundling of oil prices that we called to be done since 2018,” Zarate said.
In an interview, Cusi said that he had already written the Department of Finance to suspend the imposition of the excise tax on petroleum products.
The House panel said it will set a hearing on the said amendment and would invite representatives from the DOE and the DOF. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Nel Maribojoc)