Sen. Recto pushes DOE to find ways to mitigate crude oil increase

By Jason de Asis


SENATE OFFICE, Manila, November 8, 2010-Sen. Ralph G. Recto, chair of the Senate ways and means committee pushes the Department of Energy (DOE) to find ways on how to mitigate the continued crude oil price increase in the world market on local pump prices.


He said that if the cost of crude oil hits $90 per barrel, it would certainly bring up local pump prices here where the DOE should now be on its toes and study how it can cushion the impact here, adding that an increase in oil prices locally not only burdens consumers of petroleum products in the country, but also has a domino effect on prices of basic commodities, goods and other services.


“The cost of electricity for companies and the cost of production are affected where the DOE should not take this lightly,” he said, pointing that the global development would surely fan the greed of oil companies which are always ready to jack up prices at every opportunity.


During the budget hearings the DOE promised for close price monitoring on checking the price adjustments but should include probing the numbers.


He added that the energy department has many state personnel to check if the imminent price hikes are products of transparent computation or just a result of plain old greed stressing that it could even turn to NEDA and other government research bodies for help.


World oil prices breached the $87 mark per barrel as the dollar weakened last week where the Senators fears that if this trend continues, the gasoline prices here may breach P45 or even P50 a liter before the Christmas season.


The Senator said that the DOE should sit down with oil companies and discuss possible measures to ease the effects of this phenomenon in the world market. All oil price increase from now on should be justified.


Oil companies should also exercise transparency in all its price increases. They should be able to justify every increase, as we bear in mind how much profits they raked in for the past years.


It could be remembered that last month Recto called on the DOE to conduct a greed check on oil companies as they increased prices of petroleum products at the height of typhoon Juan. (Jason de Asis)