ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Gov’t urged to be more vigilant in monitoring changes in global oil prices
Senate Committee on Energy chair Sherwin Gatchalian on Tuesday urged the government to be more vigilant in monitoring fluctuations in the global oil price after the Brent crude oil breached $80 per barrel, causing increase in the local price of petroleum products.
"While the collection of excise taxes being levied on oil products is triggered by the average Dubai crude oil based on Mean of Platts Singapore (MOPS) as provided for in the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the TRAIN Law, it would do well for us to be prepared for if or when MOPS price hits $80 per barrel," Gatchalian said in a statement.
Pump prices of gasoline have surged to as high as P71 per liter in select provinces in the country, given the recent increase in global oil prices.
In Odiongan, Romblon, for instance, gasoline is priced at P71.17 per liter, and diesel at P57.46 per liter, according to a GMA News 24 Oras report on Monday.
In Metro Manila, meanwhile, diesel prices average P37.15 per liter, and gasoline at P48.60 per liter.
Gatchalian likewise urged the government to step up to prevent being caught off guard again like what happened when inflation rose to 6.4 percent last month.
"Our economic managers should simulate inflation scenarios should the Brent remain at $80. We should also be ready to suspend the second round of the TRAIN Law in 2018 should the Brent price remain at $80," he said.
At the same time, the government should also be implementing ways to ease the impact of oil prices to consumers.
"[The government should] fully implement the Pantawid Pasada program as soon as possible. We should also look into the possibility of increasing their P5,000 subsidy by 30 percent, to P6,500," he said.
"Kailangan nating maging handa upang hindi na lalong maghirap pa ang ating mga kababayan," he added.
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