House OKs bill that prevents oil firms from ‘unjustly’ jacking up fuel prices

The bill is still subject to amendments
by Leandre Grecia | Mar 16, 2022
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We have important news for motorists: As oil prices continue to spike, the House of Representatives Committee on Energy has now approved amendments to Republic Act No. 8479 or the Oil Deregulation Law that will help prevent fuel companies from continuously jacking up prices.

In the new albeit still unnumbered bill, oil companies will be required to submit unbundled retail prices to the Department of Energy (DOE). These unbundled prices—which reflect the crude oil cost at the time of purchase and the varied added costs—will then be the basis of price monitoring.

“Unbundling the retail price of domestic petroleum products does not run counter to the principle of deregulation, and is, in fact, a tool to ensure its effectivity,” said Marikina City representative Stella Quimbo.

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“The DOE must be mandated and capacitated to monitor unbundled retailed prices. Hindi na dapat weekly changes in MOPS (Mean of Platts Singapore) ang basehan ng price monitoring,” she added. “This is to prevent firms from unjustly adjusting their pump prices based on weekly changes in MOPS even though their current inventories were bought at previously lower price levels.”

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Quimbo also pushed for the further revision of Section 5 of the draft substitute bill so that it clearly reflects that the DOE’s price-monitoring system shall be based on the unbundled retail prices of petroleum products.

The amendments will also mandate fuel companies to maintain a minimum inventory level so as to help in price stabilization.

The draft substitute bill still needs a few more signatures and approvals before it comes into effect. Reckon this will help mitigate the impacts of the skyrocketing fuel prices?

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