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Zarate wants swift approval of fuel prices unbundling bill

Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Zarate on Sunday urged the House leadership to speed up the approval of House Bill 10386 or Unbundling of Fuel Prices bill, which seeks to make pricing scheme transparent.

Likewise, Zarate said the measure will complement the pending consolidated bill that seeks to suspend excise tax on petroleum products for six months.

"Congress should fast-track House Bill 10386 so that consumers would finally see the oil pricing processes. This is all in the spirit of transparency since the country is still under a pandemic and every peso means so much more, especially to ordinary already economically burdened consumers" said Zarate in a statement.

Zarate also urged the Department of Energy to support the measure, citing the big time oil price hike for gasoline, diesel and kerosene.

This year,  gasoline will increase by P1.50 to P1.60/liter, diesel by P1.80-P1.90/liter and kerosene by P1.60 to P1.70/liter.

"Sunod-sunod na naman ang pagtaas ng presyo ng langis pero naiwan na ang aksyon ng gobyerno laban dito. In the midst of this crisis aggravated by the  pandemic gravely affecting our people, especially the poor, we strongly urge the Department of Energy (DOE) to be more pro-active and support this bill," he said.

(Price of oil increases again but government lacks action  to address this.)

"They can even lobby to the president to classify this legislation as urgent along with other bills that would stop or at least mitigate oil price hikes," he added.

Oil companies must be transparent the actual cost of oil to make sure if there is overpricing, Zarate added.

He noted that the DOE has the power to demand these reports from oil companies.

Zarate said Section 15 (a) of Republic Act 8479 grants DOE the power to "to gather and compile appropriate information concerning, and to investigate from time to time the organization, business, conduct, practices, and management of any person or entity in the oil industry."  —LBG, GMA News