by Phres A. Evardone
QUEZON CITY, Philippines (PIA) — President Aquino ordered the Philippine National Oil Corporation (PNOC) to review and study the Oil Deregulation Law to determine when the government can step in to address the heated issue on oil prices, at the same time still follow the global thrust on oil deregulation.
This was revealed by Director Zenaida Monsada of the Oil Industry Management (OIMB) of the Department of Energy (DOE) during today’s “Talking Points” aired over Radyo ng Bayan.
“Though there is deregulation, the government is still doing its job to somehow monitor the oil prices and prevent the price from drastically increasing,” added Dir. Monsada.
Dir. Monsada further said “that what the general consumers should understand is that oil prices are dictated and influenced by international market prices not by local players since practically all of our oil are imported overseas.”
One option being eyed by the government to address this issue on increasing oil prices is for PNOC to buy oil and make an inventory of this purchased oil and become a price stabilizer once the private oil firms simultaneously decide to increase the prices of petroleum products.
President Aquino last Wednesday met the leaders of various transport groups in a dialogue regarding their concerns on the indeterminable oil price hikes.
The Oil Deregulation Law was enacted on July 28, 1997 by the Philippine Congress to promote the liberalization of the downstream oil industry as well free competition in the oil sector.