Senate bet Colmenares calls for 'unbundling' of fuel prices amid spike

Jekki Pascual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 15 2022 07:23 PM

MANILA - Oil companies must list down the costs that make up the final pump price of fuels, senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares said Tuesday, as he also called for the suspension of VAT and excise taxes on petroleum products. 

During an online forum hosted by consumer group SUKI Network, Colmenares said the unbundling of oil prices will help consumers understand fuel prices, and prevent oil companies from overpricing.

"Pag tumataas ang presyo sa international market ng langis, sasabihin nila: Tataas na rin kami dito. Bakit? Ano ba components ng presyo niyo? For example, P60 [per liter] siya ngayon, magkano ba diyan ang oil prices?" said Colmenares.

(When prices go up in the international crude market, they will say: Our prices here will also increase. Why? What are the components of your price. For example, it's P60 per liter now, what part of that is the [crude] oil price?)

The senatorial bet said this is similar to what some power utility firms are doing by detailing what is included in the electricity bill.

Power distributors like Meralco detail what part of the bill goes to pay generation, transmission, distribution and other costs. 

Colmenares also supports the repeal of the Oil Deregulation Law. 

On Tuesday, a House panel approved a substitute bill amending the Oil Deregulation Law. One of the amendments requires oil firms to unbundle prices of gasoline products and list down in detail the costs of oil, shipping, storage, marketing and other fees paid.

Meanwhile, Colmenares said motorists can save at least P17.50 per liter if taxes on fuel are suspended.

"Dapat tanggalin, suspend yung excise tax at VAT sa langis, gasolina, tanggal yan dapat. Ang estimate natin diyan pag matanggal iyan, hindi naman ganoong kalaki, pero P17.50 per liter at least ang matanggal," Colmenares asserted.

(The excise tax and VAT on oil, gasoline should be suspended, removed. Our estimate is that consumers can save, not much, but at least P17.50 per liter if those are removed.)

The Department of Finance has rejected calls to suspend fuel taxes, saying this will result in substantial revenue losses for the government. 

Since the start of the year, diesel prices have increased by P30.65 per liter, gasoline by P20.35 per liter, and kerosene by P21.90, based on data from the Department of Energy and the most recent price increase.

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