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P1 per liter on gas price added, Senator Gatchalian calls for a hearing

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P1 per liter on gas price added, Senator Gatchalian calls for a hearing

With another P1 per liter added on pump price, Senator Sherwin “WIN” Gatchalian, the Chairman for Senate Committee on Energy filed a resolution seeking to address skyrocketing prices of petroleum products.

On Monday oil companies announced that prices of gasoline will have big time price increase at P1 per liter, diesel by P1.45 per liter and kerosene by P1.35 per liter.

The price hike which has happened at 6AM of Tuesday, October 9 is on its ninth consecutive week.

Because of this, Senator Gatchalian was alarmed and sets a hearing for this being the head of Senate Committe on Energy said, “We plan to have a hearing. We have three objectives. If oil prices in the world market continue to stay at $80 per barrel, what are the recommendations of the Department of Energy”?

Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, hopes that the senators can promptly start public hearings on a joint resolution of Congress for President Duterte to suspend higher excise tax on petroleum products as soon as the remedial legislation is filed, exempting it from the rule that all money measures emanate from the House of Representatives.

The former Justice Secretary said, “The proposed joint resolution can originate in the Senate. He also added that the Senate Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara “can thus immediately start hearings as soon as the joint resolution is filed in the Senate.”

Drilon also told that he is including Sen. Bam Aquino who has been spearheading efforts to suspend the Duterte administration’s TRAIN law to be the principal author of the joint resolution.

For his part, Senator Angara said that the Ways and Means Committee “will react immediately” to consider proposals to provide tax-relief measures, amid skyrocketing cost of basic commodities.

“Everybody feels the punch and not the pinch. Thus, the pain to the public is widely seen to worsen before it gets any better, as analysts said they doubted inflation will peak in October. The September inflation rate hit 6.7 percent and forecasted to hit more than 7% by no less than the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. Fanning the clamor for the government to do much more than the first wave of administrative measures it rolled out recently” Angara explained.

Gatchalian said the energy committee will also discuss with energy stakeholders the preparations being undertaken to help cushion the effects of the second tranche of the tax-reform program of the Duterte administration.

“This is in anticipation of TRAIN 2. If you remember in early-2018, we were late. Now, we would like to be one quarter ready. We don’t want a late inspection again,” referring to the DOE’s monitoring activities on oil firms. Some oil firms allegedly increased their prices ahead of the implementation of the TRAIN on January 1, 2018.

The third objective of the hearings, Gatchalian said, is the expansion of the coverage of the PPP.

“We want to expand this down to the tricycle drivers. How can we execute that? We would also like to increase the discount to anywhere from P500 to P1,000 from the current P5,000 to all 180 franchise holders for two months,” said the lawmaker.

Gatchalian is expecting that industry stakeholders, such as the DOE and the oil firms, can discuss the mitigating measures on rising oil prices.

He agreed that unbundling the costs of petro fuel is a good move by the DOE to help determine the cost components.

Gatchalian added, “That will also be part of the hearing on the resolution that we will file.”

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