TOUGH DECISION. Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla takes his oath as the chief of the province on June 29, 2022. Petilla, a former energy secretary, said that he understands why until now President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has yet to name the next Department of Energy chief. (PNA photo by Roel Amazona)

TACLOBAN CITY – Former energy secretary, now Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla said he understands why until now President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has yet to name the next head of the Department of Energy (DOE).

He said the Chief Executive is just being careful in deciding whom to appoint to lead the vital government agency.

“Energy is no joke and he has to put the right person. And I think he is thinking heavily who fits the job,” said Petilla, who served as energy secretary from 2012 to 2015 during the term of then-president Benigno Aquino III.

“You have to go beyond politics because you cannot recover from pandemic, you cannot recover from the Ukraine war, you cannot recover from the inflation cost that we have right now if you don’t have the proper secretary of energy. I think he is really thinking hard about it,” he told reporters on Friday.

As a former DOE chief, Petilla was also asked about his opinion regarding the increasing fuel prices in the global market and he said the government could never stop any fuel price adjustments.

“You cannot stop the fuel prices and in times of crisis, in times of inflation, and in times of budget constraint, the last thing you wanted to do is subsidize. You can do that by collecting more taxes,” he said.

Petilla added that aside from the series of oil price hikes, the next DOE chief has to address the country’s problem with power supply.

Before his DOE appointment in 2012, Petilla served for nine years as Leyte governor, where his brother Dominic succeeded him until June 30, 2022. (PNA)