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Metro Baguio

House panel probes oil price disparity in N. Luzon

The House Committee on Energy has begun the investigation on the alleged fuel disparity and overpricing in Northern Luzon.

Acting on Baguio Rep. Marquez Go’s House Resolution 853, the committee invited resource persons from big oil companies in the country to answer queries.

HR 853, filed by the solon last March, seeks to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation on the high prices of oil in Baguio City and the disparity of the prices with the nearby Rosario town in La Union.

Go presented to the panel the updated comparative table of fuel prices in Baguio City and Rosario, La Union.

“The average fuel prices in Baguio City are now at P54.66 per liter for gasoline and P36.10 in diesel. In contrast, gasoline prices in La Union are P42.77 and P31.14 respectively,” Go said.

“As of September 23, the oil prices in Baguio still remain at P55.30 per liter of gasoline and P36.35 per liter of diesel compared to the pump prices in Rosario, La Union with P43.24 for gasoline and P31.13 for diesel. This is a difference of P12.06 in the price of gasoline and P5.22 in diesel considering that Rosario, La Union has only approximately 60 kilometers distance from the source of fuel which is at Poro Point, San Fernando, La Union while Baguio City to Poro Point, La Union is approximately 55.47 kilometers,” Go stressed.

Rep. Arnel Ty of Party-list LPGMA asked the resource persons from the big three oil companies, Petron, Shell and Chevron, to give their comments, investigate and validate the data presented by Go.

Also, Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, chairman of the Committee on Energy, demanded a written explanation from Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi for not attending the said hearing. Velasco said that Cusi could have aptly given the position of the department on the said issue. Same remarks were made by the Chair on the non-appearance of the executives from oil companies.

“Due to this disparity, the oil price adjustment which may have been beneficial to the consumers in Northern Luzon would likely be a burden to them. This is nothing but an affront to the right of the consumers to a fair and reasonable access to oil products. I hope that this committee investigation will shed light on the situation as to the real formula in computing and determining fuel prices particularly in Northern Luzon,” the solon said.

Due to the absence of vital resource persons, the investigation continues on October 10, Tuesday. ABN

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