Issue of October 15, 2017
     
NEWS
Benguet
Mt. Province
 
OPINION
 

2017
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Congress probes fuel hike in city
by BMC release

The Department of Energy and three major oil companies – Petron, Chevron, and Shell – reportedly have no clear explanation as to why fuels in Baguio are P6 to P10 higher per liter compared to the prices of fuel in nearby Rosario, La Union.

Rosario can be reached for more or less an hour drive from Baguio via the Palispis-Aspiras (Marcos) Highway.

Baguio Rep. Mark Go underscored this last week when he met with DOE officials and representatives from major oil companies during the second round of investigation on the comparative pump prices of fuel between Baguio and Rosario by the House Committee on Energy.

Go questioned why the pump price for fuel per liter in Baguio is almost P10 higher compared to Rosario, which is almost similar to that of the distance of Poro Point in La Union, where these fuel companies draw their products.

“On my part, I really would like to have an answer to my question raised in my resolution and these oil companies should take immediate action to correct the big disparity between the prices in Baguio and Rosario, La Union,” Go said.

Charmaine Canillas, assistant vice president for Corporate Affairs of Petron, informed the panel during the hearing that the average difference of oil prices in Baguio is at P10 depending on the trading area. She also noted that the benchmark of their company for the retail prices of petroleum is based on the Mean of Platts Singapore (MOPS) as well as the competition in certain areas that for them to maintain their volume is to match the prices in the trading area.

DOE ASec. Leonido Pulido III reported the Oil Deregulation Law does not promise low prices of fuel but fair prices. He admitted the use of MOPS in determining the fuel prices, which prompted ASec. Gerardo Erquiza to recommend for the review of the law and look into the unbundled charges.

Committee Chairman Lord Allan Velasco called for a third hearing inviting resource persons from the Philippine Competitive Commission to ask for their side on the said matter. A letter of invitation will likewise be resent to Chevron but a subpoena will be issued to Shell for failure to attend the hearing twice.

Earlier, the city council invited DOE officials, local gas dealers, and their counterparts in Metro Manila to shed light on why the oil prices in the city are higher compared to the oil prices in the lowlands by P5 to P6 per liter when the distance from their depots in La Union to the city is fixed at over 67 kilometers.


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