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The Puerto Princesa City Council urged local players in the oil industry to grant fuel discounts to all motorists, especially to public utility drivers and operators in a bid to alleviate the burden caused by the increase in prices of petroleum products.

Councilor Elgin Damasco said in his privilege speech during their regular session on Monday that local oil companies and franchisees should consider the plight of public utility drivers, who have long been bearing hardships brought about by the COVID-19 crisis and the recent onslaught of typhoon Odette.

“Nakikiusap po tayo sa mga may-ari ng gasolinahan, sa mga oil players sa lungsod na kung maaari magkaroon naman sila ng konsensya. Sana bawasan naman nila ang presyo. Sagad na sagad na ‘yong ating mga kababayan. Maraming walang trabaho dahil sa pandemya. Karamihan sa kanila sa norte pati kabuhayan nila dinurog ni Odette,” Damasco said.

“Napakamahal pa ng pangunahing bilihin at isa ito kung bakit nagmahal ang ating pangunahing bilihin dahil epekto ng grabeng pagtaas ng produktong petrolyo dito sa ating lungsod,” he added.

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According to Damasco, prices of gasoline and other petroleum products have gone up by more than P7 per liter since January, while diesel prices rose by P10 per liter.

He added that experts have agreed that rising fuel prices might wreak havoc on national and local efforts to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

“Sa buwan ng Enero umaabot na sa P7.95 ang itinaas sa kada litro ng gasolina. Samantalang P10 naman sa kada litro ng diesel ang itinaas. Many economists have agreed that the successive increase of fuel prices could further hurt the national and local initiatives to recover from the coronavirus pandemic at pag-recover natin sa bagyo,” Damasco said.

The Council Council then approved two resolutions – requesting fuel companies to give discounts to motorists, especially public utility drivers, and requesting the Senate and House of Representatives’ energy committees to conduct an immediate probe into the city’s “unusual and exceptionally exorbitant” fuel prices.

Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) president Myka Magbanua said she supports the proposed resolution, citing the excise tax on petroleum products as one of the factors that pushed up oil products prices.

“In 2017, the 17th congress approved and signed by President Duterte the TRAIN law giving an increase to excise tax on all petroleum products on three-year tranche. At this point, from around P4 for gasoline, right now we have P10 na excise tax sa gasoline. I think it also gives addition and a lot more reasons kung bakit mataas ‘yong presyo ng petroleum products right now,” Magbanua said.

“In last quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022, there are substantial reports that may ilang panahon na bumababa ‘yong supply ng langis. We all know that petroleum products are scarce in nature at alam natin nauubos ‘yon lalo’t maraming exploration all over the world that’s why I am supporting their proposed resolution,” Magbanua added.

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