House energy committee supports call to amend oil deregulation law


House Committee on Energy chairman and Pampanga Rep. Mikey Arroyo said he supports the Department of Energy’s (DOE) appeal to Congress for the amendment of Republic Act 8479 or the Oil Deregulation Law amid another impending oil price hike.

Arroyo particularly wants to introduce checks on the oil industry’s ability to charge high prices during crises.

“I have long pushed for a special mechanism to prevent overpricing in emergency situations. The Oil Deregulation Law does not give oil companies blanket authority to take advantage of consumers,” Arroyo said in a statement.

Gasoline prices are expected to go up by Php1.15 per liter, Php0.45/liter for diesel, and Php0.55/liter for kerosene this Tuesday.

Arroyo added that retail prices also reflect the petroleum industry’s cost of storage and marketing, which he said also causes higher prices.

Based on a BusinessWorld report, Arroyo said the committee plans to hold a hearing this week to discuss the matter, as well as the possible suspension of the fuel excise tax.

The DOE is also studying the possibility of suspending the 12% value added tax on petroleum products.