The Department of Energy (DOE) has reiterated its call to amend Republic Act 8479 or the Oil Deregulation Act to help ease the soaring fuel prices amid the ongoing conflicts between Russia and Ukraine.
Under the law, local oil prices are evaluated based on global oil prices – which hit $110 per barrel as of Thursday morning, Manila time. This in turn has caused local prices to increase for nine straight weeks.
“Pabalik-balik na lang tayo sa problema natin if we do not amend the law” Energy Usec. Gerardo Erguiza said in a press conference on Wednesday.
The DOE is also asking to incorporate under the law the unbundling of prices to help identify the factors making oil products expensive for consumers.
“We [could] see some discounts or some way of lowering the prices of oil,” Erguiza said.
The department first called for the law’s revision in October last year amid already rising fuel prices back then. House Committee on Energy chairman and Pampanga Rep. Mikey Arroyo supported the proposed move.
Despite the soaring oil prices, Energy Sec. Alfonso Cusi has assured that there is enough oil supply in the country.
“We are not lacking in supply given that we source our crude oil requirements primarily from the Middle East, and finished products from Asia-Pacific. However, the impact of the Ukraine crisis on international oil markets does have a direct effect on our prices,” Cusi said in a separate forum on Wednesday.
The secretary, however, has appealed to the public “to observe energy efficiency and conservation measures during this critical period” and has asked the candidates for the May 9 elections to postpone their motorcades.
“Nananawagan din po kami na ‘wag na muna tayong mag-caravan o mag-motorcade dahil that will help save fuel. Hindi pa po namin sinasabi na ‘Huwag kayong mag-motorcade. Huwag kayong mag-caravan.’ Panawagan lang po. Conscience call,“ Cusi said.