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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau


PROBE SOUGHT ON UNCONTROLLABLE OIL PRICES TO COUNTER POSSIBLE OVERPRICING BY OIL FIRMS

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05 August 2022 11:29:15 AM

Rep. Marvin Rillo (4th District, Quezon City) has called on the House Committee on Energy to conduct an investigation, in aid of legislation, on the uncontrollable prices of fuel products to counteract possible overpricing by oil companies and their increasing of profits at the expense of consumers. Rillo, a neophyte lawmaker, sought the probe through House Resolution 153. Citing the Consumer Act of 1992 or Republic Act No.7394, he said “It is the policy of the State to protect the interests of the consumer, protect his general welfare, and to establish standards of conduct for business.” Rillo said the uniform oil price hikes would suggest the apparent lack of strong and vibrant competition in the downstream oil industry, which is absolutely necessary to help keep retail prices reasonable and fair. Citing data, Rillo said that from January 3 to June 21, 2022, the country’s oil companies uniformly raised their pump prices by exactly the same cumulative amount, such that diesel was priced at P44.25 per liter; gasoline at P29.50 per liter; and, kerosene at P39.65 per liter. “When Congress passed the Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Law of 1998, or Republic Act 8479, it established and empowered a Joint DOE-DOJ Task Force on Energy Concerns precisely to aid in thwarting potential abuses by the oil companies, including cartelization by refiners, importers and or dealers, or their representatives, to fix prices,” Rillo said. He said local oil companies now enjoy tremendous “pricing power” wherein they can command higher prices for their finished petroleum products, increase margins and generate more profits, thus exposing Filipino consumers to potential price gouging. Rillo explained that price gouging occurs when oil companies increase their prices to a level that is much higher than what is considered reasonable and fair.

 
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