“Fuel rationing is not an action plan.”
This is according to Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Luz Ilagan as she called for concrete and immediate action for the Aquino government to address head-on a potential oil crisis that would inevitably further push oil prices to unimaginable heights, as an offshoot of intensifying crisis in Iran and the Middle East.
“The government cannot feign helplessness in this situation and limit its role to oil price projection and monitoring while leaving the purchase and importation of petroleum products to big oil companies ready to pounce on the opportunity to make huge profits in crisis situations,” said Ilagan.
Earlier today, Petron and Chevron increased retail prices of gasoline, diesel and kerosene products by P1 per liter. Eastern Petroleum also imposed a P1.75 per liter increase in the prices of gasoline while diesel prices will go up by P1.50 per liter. The Department of Energy had projected a P1.30 per liter increase on diesel and P1.75 per liter increase on unleaded gasoline.
The Gabriela solon said, “it is high time that Congress tackles the repeal of the Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act (RA 8479) that not only allows oil companies to indiscriminately increase prices of petroleum products, it also creates a toothless government that is tolerant of overpricing despite appeals from a poor population forced to endure price increases not just in oil products, but in basic commodities as well.”
“Because we have allowed oil multinationals to dominate for decades, we are now extremely vulnerable. This is a situation that should immediately be rectified. Steps must be taken towards the dismantling of the oil cartel and the nationalization of the oil industry.”
In January 2011, Ilagan and fellow Gabriela representative Emmi De Jesus filed House Resolution 880 directing the Committee on Energy to investigate the price monitoring and regulatory system instituted by the Department of Energy in the light of allegations of overpricing by oil companies. They also called for the creation of mechanisms to protect consumers against the ill effects of oil price increases and the immediate repeal of the Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act (RA 8479). Jang Monte, Public Information Officer, REP. LUZVIMINDA C. ILAGAN