Press Release
May 12, 2008

Escudero says the law excludes the poor

For its utter failure to accomplish the objective it was created for, Senator Chiz Escudero is urgently calling for the review of the oil deregulation law to either repeal it or amend it.

Escudero said when RA 8479 or the oil deregulation law was enacted almost ten years ago, the Department of Energy had been given enough powers and prerogatives to monitor the prices of oil commodities to ensure reasonable pricing on the basis of prevailing inventory and market price by oil companies and dealers.

However, despite such powers and prerogatives, it is apparent, as observed by many sectors, that any oil price increase is implemented faster than the public can cope with, as opposed to a decrease in oil prices by oil companies and retailers.

Escudero said the law has become biased to the big oil players in the country because they can easily raise oil prices without having to seek the consent of the government. In contrast however, small people like the transport sector who bears the brunt of reckless soaring of oil prices have to court, seek and plea for the government's consent for fare hike to cope with the escalating oil price.

"Bakit napapaboran nang husto etong mga malalaking negosyante? Wag nilang isasangkalan na nalulugi sila dahil pwede naman silang mag-advance kung totoong nalulugi sila. Pero etong maliliit nating mga tsuper, dumadaan pa sa butas ng karayom bago matugunan ang kanilang mga pangangailangan at karaingan".

Escudero said the government should be protecting the small people who have little or no access at equal opportunities. If the call to amend or repeal the oil deregulation law will be continuously ignored, Escudero added, the government will prove to be a disempowering institution to its people.

"Shouldn't it be that those who have less in life should have more in law? If we can't give tangibles to the poor, then we should at least give them their day under our laws.

Escudero long before filed Senate Resolution No. 217 to immediately review the Oil Deregulation Law in order to, among others, strengthen the Task Force of the Department of Justice and the Department of Energy in monitoring and resolving oil price hike petitions, grant the President of the Republic of the Philippines stand by powers to address the impact of any considerable increases in oil prices and redefine the concepts of cartelization and predatory pricing as provided for in Section 11 of RA No. 8479 to make them more apt to the policy of deregulation.

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