TUCP calls for suspension of oil deregulation law; urges for a national effort to cut down on fuel and energy consumption

Alarmed by the surging prices of petroleum products the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) today strongly urged Government to undertake an immediate review of the Oil Deregulation Act to stem a possible national emergency.

The TUCP issued the statement in the wake of escalating prices of crude oil in the world market. On Wednesday, prices of crude oil rose to a 21-year high due to talks of disruptions in supply.

Petroleum companies in the country have already increased their prices as of last night.

The labor group feared that the unexpected increase in world crude prices may result in endless price adjustments and may result to runaway inflation.

“It is always the consumers, especially the poor, that suffer in this bitter chain of events. We propose that Government take bold steps to prevent oil companies from making the lives of Filipinos worse”, TUCP said.

“There is no better time and opportunity than today to re-asses the Oil Industry Deregulation Act than today”, TUCP said.

“The trumpeters of deregulation has nothing good to show for the deregulation law. Congress should suspend the deregulation law and replace it with a more socially responsive law”, TUCP added.

“In the meantime, we urge Congress to suspend the implementation of the Law and for the Executive Department to study the possibility of re-establishing the Oil Price Stabilization Fund (OPSF) or a similar mechanism to serve as a cushion against fluxes in oil prices”, TUCP said.

The TUCP also called on Government to formulate long-term programs to ease the country’s demand for oil products. “It’s about time that we seriously consider harnessing energy alternatives. The Government should accelerate the development of geothermal, wind, hydro, and gas reserves for our power needs”, TUCP said.

The TUCP also urged the public prepare to go into energy and fuel conservation efforts. “The key here is to tap and mobilize public consciousness to help cut down on fuel demand. There are a number of things that the public can do such as using the public transport system instead of using their own vehicles; car-pooling, or by simply walking short distances”, TUCP said.

The TUCP also welcomes the possible re-imposition of energy-daylight-saving working hours and other energy saving schemes at the workplace.

“Similarly, we expect the rich to also undertake appropriate fuel and energy saving schemes. They can start by cutting down on the use of their 8 cylinder vehicles”, TUCP said.

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