Fuel price hikes could stop only if Ukraine-Russia conflict ends —Duterte

Published May 24, 2022, 9:51 AM

by Raymund Antonio

As the country is dependent on global importation of oil, President Duterte lamented that “there will be no new normal” unless the Ukraine-Russia war ends, as this could help end the spiral of oil prices in the world market.

President Rodrigo Duterte addresses the nation on Monday, May 23, 2022. (Malacañang photo)

“Tayo ‘yung may gumagamit ng mga sasakyan (Those of us who use vehicles), you complain every day that it’s getting higher by the hour itong langis (this oil),” he said in his taped “Talk to the People” aired on Monday night, May 23.

The Chief Executive said that fuel prices have gone up because the Philippines does not produce its own oil, and is heavily dependent on oil imports.

Citing that neighboring country Malaysia produces its own oil to meet its domestic demands, Duterte lamented that oil prices cannot return to normal as long as the Russia-Ukraine conflict continues.

This is why he is pinning hopes that his successor would “explore” the possibility of having nuclear power as a source of energy with the global oil crisis that resulted from the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The President said it would be a “good” idea for the government to shift from oil to nuclear power.

“We are not yet dito sa (at this) nuclear level but I hope that the next administration would at least explore now the possibility of itong [shifting to] nuclear. You know oil is not infinite, may katapusan ‘yan (that will end). Someday it will dry up,” he said.

“It would be good for any government to prepare the possibility of making the transition earlier from oil ‘yung (the) fossil fuel to nuclear kasi ang (because) nuclear is forever,” he added.

The Chief Executive also acknowledged the danger of using nuclear power, citing the 1986 nuclear leak leading to radiation in Chernobyl in Ukraine.

“Mabuti na lang (It was good that) all nations contributed to the control or fixing the Chernobyl including Russia, which is now attacking Ukraine,” Duterte noted, adding that oil is not infinite and it will dry up “someday.”

“It would be good for any government to prepare the possibility of making the transition earlier from oil ‘yung (the) fossil fuel to nuclear kasi ang (because the) nuclear [power] is forever,” he said.

This would free the Philippines from directly being impacted by the Russia-Ukraine conflict, which drove up the prices of oil and wheat in the world market. Ukraine is one of the largest global producers of wheat.

 
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