FOLLOWING the continuous increase in the prices of oil for nine straight weeks, Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez plans to invite officials of the country’s oil companies – big and small – if only to find a solution or compromise by giving motorists a respite.
“The government is not insensitive to the sentiments of our people, especially since this carries a domino effect on all products in the market,” Speaker Romualdez said. “We all know that once the prices of oil rise, everything else shoots up – except the wages and salaries of our workers.”
Speaker Romualdez, leader of the 311-strong House of Representatives and president of the ruling Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) political party, noted the high prices of the oil per barrel in the world market, which has been dictating on rates in the domestic supply, aside from the Oil Deregulation Law that tied government’s hands.
He also noted that the fuel being sold in the market at present are old stocks or have stayed for months in the inventories or depot of oil companies.
“It is common knowledge that oil companies still sell supplies bought at lower prices before the costs of crude oil in the world market increased. Baka pwede nating mapakiusapan sila na wag na munang magtaas ng presyo,” the Speaker said.
“This is one of our problems, the Oil Deregulation Law that contributed to the high prices of petroleum. It ties our hands,” the congressman of Leyte’s First District said. “We don’t want to impose on them (oil firms), but we also want to know if they can help alleviate our suffering.”
“We want to hear from them what can they do to help in this kind of situation, and if indeed they are willing to help at all because these oil price hikes have been a burden to our kababayans,” Speaker Romualdez said.
Speaker Romualdez said that in times of economic hardship, all stakeholders must find solutions to alleviate the plight of the people, including oil companies.
“I think it would be better if we help each other soften the impact of these oil price increases because we want these products to be affordable. People have been bearing the brunt of this situation for a long time now,” Speaker Romualdez observed.
Likewise, the House leader hinted at a review of pending bills amending the Oil Deregulation Law as a necessary step towards bringing down the prices of oil.