The Department of Energy (DOE) and representatives of petroleum companies in Palawan have been requested to appear in the committee meeting of the Provincial Board to help in the investigation of excessive oil prices in the province.
Board member Ryan Maminta brought the matter to the Provincial Board during a privilege speech on Tuesday after Malacañang warned oil companies against profiteering on oil prices in Palawan.
Maminta said oil companies have claimed that high fuel prices are due to exorbitant “transportation cost” .
But he pointed out that based on Malacañang’s calculation, the spike should not be as high as P10.
“Kung ikukumpara talaga natin ang presyo ng petrolyo particular sa MIMAROPA and Western Visayas ay parang may additional tayong P10 doon sa costing ng fuel. Sana ang investigation ay makatulong para makita natin ang tamang pricing dito sa Palawan at sa siyudad ng Puerto Princesa,” Maminta said.
Board member David Francis Ponce de Leon said the Provincial Board is also willing to propose legislative measures that can help solve the problem.
“Ito ay hindi makakasagabal doon sa investigation because we are the highest policy making body. Baka doon sa mapag-usapan ay makagawa tayo ng policy or other measure na makakatulong [para mapababa ang presyo],”Ponce de Leon said.
Earlier, Cabinet Sec. Karlo Nograles that President Rodrigo Duterte has taken note of the excessive oil prices in the province, citing surcharge of around P10 compared to the national price.
He also reminded the oil companies to comply with the DOE’s investigation and recommendation or the Palace will intervene.
“Nagtataka kami na bakit ganoon kataas—halos P10 ang taas dito sa Palawan kaya pina-iimbestigahan na ‘yan sa DOE,” he said.
Masyadong mataas ‘yong presyong ipinapatong nila. Sabi nila transportation cost pero based on our investigation, hindi naman ganoon kataas,” Nograles added.
The City Council on Monday also asked Congress to hold an inquiry on the high fuel and petroleum product prices in Puerto Princesa City.
City Councilor Jimbo Maristela made the call for Congress to hold an inquiry in aid of legislation to resolve the matter and ease the burden of motorists.
Maristela said the current price of gasoline per liter in the city range from P59 to P62 while diesel is around P50 to P51.
In MIMAROPA region, particularly in Calapan City, the prices of gasoline per liter only range from P41 to P43, P45 to P50 in Occidental Mindoro, and P43 to P49 in Marinduque, he said.
“Gumawa kami ng research sa Region 4B at sobrang laki ng kaibahan kaya humihingi tayo ng tulong kasi ito ay obserbasyon na rin ng mga taga-Puerto pati na rin ng mga bumibisita rito sa siyudad. Sinasabi nila na bakit napakataas ng gasolina sa lungsod, ilang beses na natin napatawag ang mga representative ng mga gasoline station pero ang sabi nila ay matagal na rin nilang nasimulan ito, matagal na at pinagpapatuloy na lang nila,” he said.
Meanwhile, Rep. Gil Acosta Jr. (3rd District, Palawan), said he will come up with a legislative measure to address the problem and will ask proper agencies that have authority on the matter.
He also said that the committee on trade in industry chaired by Sen. Win Gatchalian will also conduct an inquiry regarding the issue.
“Ang alam ko ay binibyahe pa ‘yan at mahal talaga kapag galing ng Manila papuntang Palawan pero tama naman na tanungin nga kung bakit mas mataas kapag sa Palawan. We will ask the Department of Trade and Industry kung may magagawa ba, kung wala ay baka we will form a legislative measure at para ma-imbestigahan,” he said.