BAGUIO CITY – In spite of the recent plunge in prices of fuel in the city, local officials are hoping to reduce the cost of gasoline and diesel some more.
Lawmaker Mark Go on June 13 noted the evident decline of fuel prices in the three major oil companies Petron, Chevron and Shell with an average of P5 to P6 decrease per liter of gasoline and P1.50 to P2 decrease per liter of diesel. This is on top of the regular rollback of about P0.55 in gasoline and P0.60 in diesel a day before.
The lawmaker has earlier met with the heads of the oil companies to discuss the possibility of reducing the oil prices in the city.
“I am happy that we now see the fruits of our efforts. Aside from the hearings we held in Congress, separate meetings were done outside with some of the officers of these major oil companies to discuss this substantial matter of oil price decrease in Baguio City. As committed by them, this is now the result,” Go said.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan, who was also pleased with the rollback of fuel prices, said that it was indeed possible to lower the prices but the people of Baguio, including the tourists, has been bearing the brunt of the “overpriced” fuels for a long time.
He claimed the oil companies were taking advantage of the Oil Deregulation Law because there is no ceiling limit to the fuel prices.
The mayor said that in a recent conference with representatives of the Department of Energy, he confirmed that the prices of oil in the city are too much as the disparity of prices between Baguio City and San Fernando City in La Union is about P8 per liter in diesel and about P10 per liter in gasoline.
He said, according to the representatives of DOE, the fare for about 68-km distance from San Fernando to Baguio should only amount to about 18 centavos per liter.
In a dialogue last June 14, the local oil dealers and retailers insisted that they are only following the prices set by their main companies.
The quest to reduce the fuel prices in the city was set in motion after the long and many complaints from Baguio residents and visitors on the huge disparity of oil prices from the nearby provinces.
Said complaints were tackled at the city council until Congressman Go filed House Bill No. 7352 seeking to amend RA 8479 or the Oil Deregulation Act, empowering the Department of Energy to monitor the pump prices of fuel and to set a price ceiling and maximum rate of increases.
“This measure, once enacted into law, will help sustain the difference of oil prices not only between Rosario, La Union and Baguio City but also within all regions all over the country,” Go said.
He said that the decline of prices is great news, “This oil price reduction has been felt by our people. We will never cease to negotiate to these oil companies until such time that we attain a fair and competitive oil prices with that of Rosario, La Union.”
“Surely, it will have a domino effect as there will also be a possibility of decrease in the prices of commodities in the area,” Go added.
The solon said he will not stop negotiating with the oil companies until the oil price discrepancy can be brought down to about P1 to P1.50 per liter. With reports: ROMELO DUPO III and FRIA PILORIN, UC Interns / ABN