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Govt open to Oil Deregulation Law review

Amending the Oil Deregulation Law would authorize the DoE secretary to set the oil price ceiling and unbundle oil products.

Angelica Ballesteros

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Th e government is open to reviewing the Oil Deregulation Law and allow the Department of Energy (DoE) to determine the maximum price of oil, a Cabinet official said.

In a chance interview with reporters on the sidelines of a launching ceremony in Mauban, Quezon on Tuesday, DoE Secretary Alfonso Cusi said a proposal to review Republic Act 8479 or the Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act of 1998 was discussed during a Cabinet meeting last Friday.

According to Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo, amending the Oil Deregulation Law would authorize the DoE secretary to set the oil price ceiling and unbundle oil products.

“I … issued a show cause order on the difference of the oil price between Baguio, for example and in Pangasinan or Manila. There is that price difference. I want that price difference to be unbundled,” Cusi said.

“If I cannot unbundle the whole of the price, I want to unbundle the difference,” he added.

Cusi said the review adds more transparency in the country’s oil price.

Earlier this month, the DoE issued show cause order against 13 oil companies and explain themselves over oil price rollbacks which were 22-centavo short of the DoE computation.

This came following a stabilization in Saudi Arabia’s oil production after two of its largest oil-producing plants were hit by a drone attack.

Following the attack, industry players have jacked up prices by as much as P1.35 for gasoline for the first week after the attack, and by another P2.35 per liter on the second week, over fears of a supply cut. The third week saw a reduction of as much as P1.5 per liter.

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