WITH pump prices of petroleum products hiking for the third straight week, former Sen. Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, Jr. reiterates his appeal for a moratorium in the price hikes of basic commodities amid the continuing havoc brought by the coronavirus pandemic in our economy.
Liquified Petroleum Gas (LGP) alone has increased by P7 for an 11-kg tank, while the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has earlier granted the petition of manufacturers to increase the Suggested Retail Price (SRP) of more than a hundred basic goods.
Marcos said the unabated round of increases in the price of necessities should not be allowed to continue because it adds to the expenses of families already burdened by the cost of sustaining health protocol items.
“Marami po ang nawalan ng trabaho at ang marami ay hirap makapaghanapbuhay dahil sa lockdowns at lalo silang nahihirapan dahil sa dagdag na presyo ng mga pangunahing bilihin, kasama na ang price hike ng LPG,” said the former senator.
He added that the new round of oil price hikes would only make it harder for the households to cope with the price adjustments of their daily needs because those producers of basic items will surely just pass on to the consumers any increase in the cost of their production.
“I am appealing to the DTI to suspend the price increases in these basic goods since we are still in a pandemic. Siguro para sa iba ay wala ito masyadong epekto, pero sa isang tao o pamilyang naghihikahos ngayon, malaking adjustment sa budget ang idudulot nito. Mas kokonti lalo ang mabibili nila,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, to ensure the stability of local oil prices and protect consumers, the former senator called for the restoration of the Oil Price Stabilization Fund, which was established during the world oil crisis in the late 1970s to early 1980s as a buffer fund to shield local oil prices from fluctuations.
Marcos explained that local oil companies would contribute to the OPSF when world crude prices are low, and make drawdowns from the fund when crude prices rise, thus ensuring that local oil prices remained relatively constant.
“Big oil companies would contribute to the OPSF so that merong pondo ang gobyerno pag gumagalaw ang presyo ng langis. During the time na tumaas, magbabayad ang gobyerno para hindi na masyadong gumalaw. Makakapag-adjust ang tao, makakapag-adjust ang mga negosyo para kahit papano the shock is not too much. And that stability is good for business,” he further explained.