Government to consult all sectors on oil deregulation law

Published by rudy Date posted on February 16, 2009

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang will consult stakeholders in the move to review the Oil Deregulation Law in the effort to strike a balance between consumer welfare and business promotions.

Press Secretary Cerge Remonde assured the public yesterday that all parties would be consulted amid concerns that regulating the oil industry could lead to fiscal deficits in case prices of fuel and cooking gas are regulated and subsidized by the government.

Remonde said Malacañang also supported the call of Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes for legislation to allow the Department of Energy to exercise control and supervision over the industry to curb unfair trading practices, particularly the hoarding of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

“As of now, that (review of the oil deregulation law) is still in the discussion stage and we leave to the Department of Energy and our economic managers to handle these matters,” Remonde said over dzRB.

He said the review is aimed to protect both the consumers and the business sector.

“That’s why we need this review to see what would be better for all. In the process, all stakeholders will be consulted,” Remonde pointed out.

Remonde earlier pointed out the need to regulate the oil industry in citing last Saturday’s fuel price increase by three major oil companies.

He also cited the government’s apparent helplessness in addressing the complaints of consumers regarding the scarcity of LPG in the market.

Remonde said the government is using every bit of persuasive power to get the oil companies to lessen the impact on consumers.

Reyes conceded the need for legislation to regulate and penalize LPG hoarding.

He said there were proposals that were filed during the previous Congress seeking to revive the licensing function of the DOE that was scrapped by Republic Act 8479 or the Oil Deregulation Law.

By restoring the function to grant license to operate to LPG suppliers, Reyes said the DOE could ensure that only compliant LPG industry players can engage in the business.

Other lawmakers also saw the need to review the provision of the Oil Deregulation Law, particularly on regulating the sale and distribution of LPG.–Paolo Romero, Philippine Star

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