Press Release
January 18, 2011

Says task force to monitor violators is useless

Senator Juan Miguel "Migz" Zubiri is pushing for the immediate review of the oil deregulation law saying that the unabated oil price hike has rendered the law ineffective in keeping the prices of petroleum products at a reasonable level.

"It has been 13 years since RA 8479 or the Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act was enacted. We need to revisit and review it to make it more responsive to the needs of the public," Zubiri said further noting that despite the fact that oil prices on MOPS have been going down for the past three months, oil prices had gone up in January 11.

Pump prices of gasoline and diesel increased by 50 centavos per liter and 25 centavos per liter, respectively. MOPS (Mean of Platts Singapore) is the oil price benchmark in the region being used by the small oil players. Shell, Chevron and Total, however, base their pricing on World Market Prices. Consumer groups, on the other hand, argued that they should be using MOPS instead.

"Under the law, a DOJ-DOE task force was created to ensure that the adjustments are fair and reasonable but this task force is useless, they had done little to apprehend the violators of the law or to at least determine and explain to the public if such increases are reasonable," Zubiri argued adding that that "it is about time to consider a long term solution to the uncontainable adjustments in the price of oil."

"We can not adopt a business-as-usual attitude and continue the implementation of the deregulation law amid a public outcry against oil increases," the senator from Bukidnon said.

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