Press Release
April 15, 2010

Probe power, oil cartel - Villar

Nacionalista Party (NP) standard-bearer Manny Villar called on the authorities to investigate the possible collusion of power and oil firms amid new rounds of rising power and petroleum costs.

"The government should check if there exists a cartel in the oil and power industries. They should verify the basis of the high price that is being passed on by oil companies to the consumers," Villar said in Filipino during a radio interview.

"The acquisition of new power plants by those power firms should be looked into by the authorities. The government should ensure that costs arising from these operations should not be passed on to consumers," he added.

Villar has long acknowledged the presence of a cartel - not just in the oil industry, but also in the cement, drug, and agricultural sectors. While still the House Speaker, Villar claimed that a cartel exists in the oil industry; and that the system is wrong and the deregulation law is not working.

He believes that the oil industry should be restructured like the power sector, and he is convinced up to now that the country needs an Anti-Trust Law to break up these cartels.

"We're faced with many problems, and the next president should be ready to confront them simultaneously on day one. That's the main issue in this election - who among us has both the capability to lead this nation and the experience," said Villar.

Villar vows to address high power costs and reduce inefficiencies in generation and transmission through a transparent process of auditing existing power generators.

If elected president, Villar will attract foreign investments in power and remove all cartel-like impediments to competition - a policy that ultimately benefits the consumer.

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