By Zaldy Comanda
BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved a resolution bringing to the attention to Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi the alleged manipulation by the local oil retailers in dictating the prevailing oil prices which are way above the suggested retail prices of oil in their gas stations around the city.
The resolution requested the issuance of a directive that will unbundle the rates for a greater accountability in the oil industry, as well as transparency for the consumers not only in the city but also in the whole country.
The resolution authored by Councilors Benny Bomogao, Michael Lawana and Faustino Olowan stated it has been noted for a period of time the unusual high prices of oil products in the city, the highest in fact for Northern Luzon, that went as high as more than P18 difference with prevailing oil prices in other cities and provinces.
The resolution also noted that in several fora, consultations and even legislative inquiries, no clear and satisfactory explanations were elicited from the local retailers of the different players, especially the ‘Big 3’companies, that are perceived to be allegedly dictating the prevailing oil prices in the city.
During a recent consultation with oil retailers in the city, energy officials reported that the industry take of local businessmen had been P8 compared to the industry take of their counterparts in the lowlands despite the fact that the transport cost of oil products from the lowlands to the city is P0.18 per liter.
Worst, local oil retailers passed on the blame to their mother companies which are allegedly dictating the oil prices charged to consumers when getting their supply from their respective oil terminals in San Fernando City, La Union, only 68.2 kilometers away.