Oil cartel in PH? DOE probes possibility

Published October 25, 2021, 4:29 PM

by Joseph Pedrajas

The Department of Energy (DOE) is not ruling out the possibility that the oil price in the country is being by controlled by a cartel as the national government does not have a hand on the Philippine oil market.​

“Ang sinasabi ng iba, may kartel. Syempre pag kausap ko naman yung mga industry players, wala pong kartel (Some say there’s a cartel. But whenever I talk to industry players, they say there’s none),” DOE Sec. Alfonso Cusi said in a DZBB interview on Monday.

“Kaya tiningnan naman po naman ng Philippine Competition Commission po yan. Nadulog na din po natin yan, para matingnan po (The Philippine Competition Commission already looked into that. Just the same, we already sought for their assistance to look into that possibility),” he added.

As the oil price continues to soar in the past two months due to worldwide shortage in supply, Cusi recently sought a congressional amendment on the Oil Deregulation Law, among other laws, “to be able to set certain limits” on fuel prices and “to protect the public considering this is a very important commodity.”

Cusi also found nothing wrong with the simultaneous price increase of all different industry players as his primary concern is the amount of increase.

“Yung mechanism ay in place naman at patas naman po ang pagpapatupad noong time of increase (The mechanism is in place and the timing of the implementation of price increase is fair),” he said.

“Pero yung sa how much they are increasing or decreasing the price, yun po ang sinisilip natin (But how much they are increasing or decreasing, that’s what we’re looking at),” he added.