VP Robredo asks gov’t to act swiftly on oil price increases

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Vice President Leni Robredo speaks to supporters as her running mate, Senator Kiko Pangilinan, waves during their rally in Butuan City Wednesday night, March 9, 2022. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

BUTUAN CITY (MindaNews / 11 March) — Vice President Leni Robredo on Wednesday urged the national government to act swiftly on the steep increases in the prices of fuel that have reached record highs.

Robredo said the Ukraine crisis, widely regarded as the key driver for the current spike in oil prices, is developing fast each day.

“The government should act quickly because there is no time to spare,” she told transport representatives, medical personnel and students who attended the town hall meeting at Father Saturnino Urios University here.

The vice president said the government had already received a bundle of proposed measures aimed to ease the impact of the war between Ukraine and Russia to the local economy.

She said they too have some proposed measures like the  suspension of  the excise tax for oil products and immediate distribution of fuel subsidies to food producers and transport drivers.

Her running mate, Senator Kiko Pangilinan, said analysts predicted that price per liter of gasoline may increase from P68 to P77 while prices for diesel could go up to P59 to P73 a liter.

“These would directly hurt the economy and our people will again go hungry,” Pangilinan said during the town hall meeting.

He said prices of bread and flour-based products would go up next and would hurt Filipinos who are heavy carbohydrate or bread eaters.

Robredo said the government should decide which measures to adopt before it became “too late.”

The Department of Finance has expressed disapproval on the proposed suspension of the excise tax saying the Philippines will lose P147.1 billion if the measure would be implemented.

In a meeting last week with President Rodrigo Duterte, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Chua proposed increasing the petroleum buffer stock from 30 to 40 days.

Chua also proposed increasing the LPG buffer stock from seven to 15 days. Robredo and Pangilinan were in Butuan City for a late afternoon rally at Guingona Park which capped their campaign sortie in the Caraga Region. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)

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