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DoE chief warns oil firms: Roll back prices or face raps

21 August 2011 No Comment

By Gerry Baldo



The Department of Energy (DoE) yesterday warned oil companies they could be sued if they do not roll back their prices by at least P2 per liter.

Secretary Jose Almendras, who was at the House of Representatives to defend the DoE’s P8.8-billion budget, said the roll back should be implemented between now and Monday next week.

“We are expecting a P2 rollback on their oil products until Monday. If not, we will ask them to explain and the Department of Justice will take over for investigation for possible action,” Almendras said yesterday in answer to Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño’s query on whether the people could expect a price rollback given the huge drop in the world market price.

Oil prices dropped from $120 last month to only $77 this month.

Casiño took a swipe at the DoE for keeping silent on the oil price increases while acting as the oil firms’ spokesman when oil price increases are going to be imposed.

ACT party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio, for his part, said the P2 roll back proposed by the DoE is not enough even as he maintained that oil prices in the country are overpriced by as much as P8 per liter.

Almendars, however, passed on the responsibility of lowering power rates to the House of Representatives.

Almendras said power rates could be reduced if the government subsidizes power production.

The DoE secretary explained that power rates in the neighboring countries are low because of the subsidy given by their respective governments.

He was reacting to a question raised by Casiño on why power rates are very high in the country as compared to its neighbors in the Asean.

“The question is are we going to subsidize?” Almendras said.

Earlier, Isabela Rep. Rodolfo Albano had called on the DoE to order a P5 roll back in gasoline prices.

Albano pointed out that price cuts are always not enough.#

(Source: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110811met1.html)


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