Politics

How to lower soaring oil prices? Here’s how Colmenares will do it

By Billy Begas

With the announced increase in prices of petroleum products on October 26, Bayan Muna chair Neri Colmenares has given five ways on how the government could lower oil prices.

Colmenares said while it seems the Duterte administration’s hands are tied in addressing the series of price increases, the “truth is, the Government can do something to avoid high oil prices.”

“The first thing that needs to be done is repeal or drastically reduce the excise tax and the expanded value-added tax (VAT) imposed on oil and petroleum products,” said Colmenares, the senatorial candidate of Makabayan coalition.

The Makabayan bloc has been pushing for the suspension of excise taxes on oil since 2018 and has filed House Bill 243 in 2019 to this effect.

The second, Colmenares said, is to have transparency in oil and petroleum products through the unbundling of prices.

“The public needs to know where every peso spent per liter goes. By unbundling the costs, we can identify what causes the excess fees and how to ease these prices,” Colmenares added.

Colmenares said the Makabayan bloc also called for the:
– enactment of Oil Regulation to ensure that oil prices are within reasonable costs;

– buy back Petron to provide the public with a state-owned alternative to acquire oil and petroleum products; and

– establishment of a National Petroleum Exchange Corporation to serve as the central distribution hub of oil and petroleum to private companies and help oversee oil prices in the market.

“Kung totoo ang pinipintang malasakit ng administrasyong ito, wag na silang magpapatumpik-tumpik sa pagkilos para pababain ang presyo ng langis sa merkado,” Colmenares pointed out.

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