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MANILA – The Department of Energy (DOE) will ask the 19th Congress to prioritize the review of the oil deregulation law as the agency aims to ease petroleum prices.
 
During the Laging Handa public briefing Tuesday, DOE Undersecretary Gerardo Erguiza Jr. said the agency wants to regain its authority to intervene when there is a dramatic increase in oil prices for a longer period.
 
“We wrote to the Congress to give priority to revisit and review the oil deregulation law so that the government will have the power to do something in this kind of situation,” DOE Undersecretary Gerardo Erguiza Jr. said in Filipino.
 
He said DOE has been batting for the unbundling of oil prices to promote transparency in oil price adjustments.
 
As the DOE does not have any power to intervene amid the skyrocketing petroleum prices, the agency has requested oil firms to provide discounts to consumers.
 
Among oil firms, Petro Gazz has so far announced that it will give a “company-initiative” price discount for its diesel products.
 
“Petro Gazz will implement PHP3.50 per liter off on diesel prices from June 8, 6 a.m. to June 11, 10 p.m. at selected stations nationwide,” Petro Gazz said, adding there are some stations that have diesel inventories that can last up to four days.
 
Meanwhile, Erguiza said under the current circumstances, the PHP100-per-liter price for petroleum products is unlikely.
 
DOE data as of June 2 show that retail prices of gasoline in the National Capital Region ranged from PHP71.70 to PHP95.15 per liter; from PHP69.65 to PHP84.05 per liter for diesel; and from PHP77.64 to PHP85.25 per liter for kerosene.
 
On Tuesday morning, oil firms hiked gasoline prices by PHP2.70 per liter; diesel, by PHP6.55 per liter; and kerosene by PHP5.45 per liter.
 
This made petroleum prices go up to PHP90-level per liter. (PNA)