By Mario Casayuran | Manila Bulletin
Vice-presidential candidate Sen. Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. yesterday called on the business sector to begin reducing prices of their products following the move of the transport groups to have jeepney minimum fare reduced in the wake of the declining oil prices in the world market.
Marcos said the decision of the Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations (ACTO) and Pinagkaisang Samahan ng Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (PISTON) for a fare reduction is an example to other sectors to start their own scheme to alleviate the plight of the public.
“This is a good example of social responsibility. I believe we have a lot of companies that are conscientious enough to start lowering prices on their own without government order or action and this is what they should do. These transport groups have shown the way and other sectors should follow suit,” Marcos said.
The two transport groups – ACTO and PISTON – had earlier proposed a P0.50 reduction in the P7.50 minimum jeepney fare following the continuing decline of oil prices in the global market.
Last Monday, Brent crude prices fell US$28 a barrel shortly after Iran was allowed to export oil. The last time Brent prices fell to below US$28 a barrel was in 2003.
Marcos, chairman of the Senate Local Government Committee, had earlier called on the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to explain why the prices of basic commodities remain high despite the big rollback in the prices of petroleum products.
He pointed out there should be a substantial reduction in the prices of basic commodities since oil prices have been reduced by as much as P24 since 2014.
Just last Monday, oil companies announced another round of oil price rollback which put diesel prices in the range between P19 and P22.80 per liter while gasoline prices ranged from P32 to P38 per liter.
In January, 2014, based on the price monitoring report of the Department of Energy (DOE), retail prices of petroleum products ranged from P50.30 per liter to P55.45 per liter for gasoline and P42.10 per liter to P46.50 per liter for diesel.
“The Filipino people should be feeling the progressive effect of the oil price reductions but prices remain high. These transport groups have shown the way for others to emulate. But I think the government must also do its part to bring reprieve to our countrymen,” Marcos said.