(File photo)

MANILA – With gasoline pump prices up again this week, Senator Win Gatchalian said there is a need for Congress to look into the impact of the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine on the country's energy security and affordability.

In filing Senate Resolution No. 78, Gatchalian pointed out that the drastic increase in global oil and coal prices have reverberated across the domestic market with local pump prices experiencing consecutive weekly increases.

Gatchalian took note of the 22 percent increase in gasoline prices to PHP77.71 per liter in May from PHP63.58 per liter in January and diesel pump prices soared by 49 percent to PHP75.92 per liter in May from PHP50.95 per liter in January.

During the same period, many public utility vehicle drivers opted not to ply their usual routes while provincial buses and taxis were operating only at 20-30 percent capacity which led to a severe lack of available public transportation, he said.

"There is a need for Congress to be apprised of the short, medium, and long-term effects and implications of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on the Philippine economy, in particular, the country's oil supply and the effects of the continuous elevated global oil and coal prices on domestic oil and petroleum products," Gatchalian said in a news release on Thursday.

Gatchalian, who was the chairman of the Committee on Energy in the 18th Congress, conducted a hearing in March to seek specific solutions and programs of the Department of Energy and relevant government agencies to mitigate the impact of the Russia-Ukraine crisis on the country's oil supply and prices.

"Hindi na kakayanin ng taong bayan ang palagiang pagtaas ng presyo ng produktong petrolyo na naging sanhi din ng pagtaas ng presyo ng mga pangunahing bilihin (The people can no longer afford the constant increase in the price of petroleum products which has also caused the price of basic commodities to rise)," he said. (PR)