By Genalyn D. Kabiling
The country’s high oil prices have become a “crisis” but will likely be “temporary” amid the planned increase in output from the world’s top crude producers, Malacañang said yesterday.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said they expect oil prices to fall as Russia and United States have reportedly agreed to raise oil production.
“Hindi naman permanente itong nangyayaring krisis. Talaga naman pong krisis. Nakakaabala ang pagtaas ng presyo dahil mahigit 200 percent ang tinaas ng presyo,” Roque said during a Palace press briefing.
“Hindi natin ‘yan inaasahan dahil medyo stable naman ng presyo ng krudo pero temporary lang ito. Tingnan natin pangyayari. Gaya ng sinabi ko, ang Russia nag-increase ng supply nila. Pati ang Estados Unidos biglang nag-increase ng exports nila ng krudo,” he added.
Roque recognized that life has become hard amid the rising oil prices but assured the government was taking steps to ease the impact on the people.
He said the President is expected to convene a Cabinet meeting on June 11 to tackle “alleviation measures” such as possibility of importing from cheaper oil products from countries which are not members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries such as Russia and the US.
The Department of Labor and Employment has also been directed to review a potential minimum wage increase while the Department of Trade and Industry was asked to monitor and apprehend unscrupulous traders taking advantage of the situation, according to Roque.
“Alam namin humirap ang buhay, alam natin na ang pagtaas ng presyo ng mga bilihin dahil sa pagtaas ng presyo ng krudo sa pandaigdigang merkado kaya nga patuloy tayo sa mga hakbang na humahanap ng alternatibong mga supplier,” he said.
“Ang projection naman dahil ang mga bansang Russia ay hindi member ng OPEC at nag-increase sila ng production, may posibilidad na bumaba ang presyo.”