ILIGAN CITY — Presidential candidate Ka Leody de Guzman on Monday rejected the energy department’s proposal to stagger the increase in fuel prices, amid rising prices of crude in the international market due to the war in Ukraine.
“Ganun pa rin yun. Ipatutupad pa rin yung dagdag na presyo. Staggered lang. Kaya killing me softly ang gusto ng DOE,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a forum in Iligan City.
Since January, the price of diesel has risen by P17.50 per liter while gasoline rose by P13.25 per liter.
On Tuesday, most gas companies are due to increase the price of diesel by P13.15 per liter and gasoline by P7.10 per liter.
Instead of slowly rolling out price hikes, De Guzman said the government should move quickly to suspend the oil deregulation law.
“Dapat tugunin yung panawagan namin na dapat magkaroon ng special session yung Senado at gumawa ng patakaran na kahit i-suspinde muna, kahit i-suspinde lang ng Senado o ng Malacanang mismo, gamitin niya ang kanyang executive power na yung oil deregulation law…then kapag nabuksan na yon, suspendido, pwede na mag-intervene,” he said.
President Rodrigo Duterte last week asked Congress to review the oil deregulation law but Congress is currently on recess and won’t meet until after the May elections.
De Guzman explained that unless the oil deregulation law is suspended, the government won’t have legal basis to intervene in setting the price of fuel and will instead resort to pleading with big oil companies not to raise prices just yet.
The labor leader previously accused oil companies of selling at higher prices stock fuel bought at much lower prices.
“Bakit sila nakikiusap? Hindi naman pwedeng pakiusapan yung tubo ng mga negosyanteng gusto nilang makuha ngayong panahon na mayroon silang ginagamit na palusot o katwiran para magtaas. Yung matagal na nilang pangarap na mag-increase ay nagamit yung krisis ngayon sa Ukraine para itaas yan,” he said.
For De Guzman, the government should set a policy of removing excise tax and of examining the rate increases of oil companies.
“Dapat kalingain ang ating mamamayan pero sabi nga nung isang driver, hindi naman sila naghahabol ng dagdag na pamasahe, kundi ang gusto nila, bawasan yung pabigat na dulot nitong pagtaas ng presyo ng langis,” he said.