Fuel costs are skyrocketing, and naturally, Filipino motorists are looking for the easiest entity to blame. Obviously, that's the government: the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Finance's Tax Reform for Inclusion and Acceleration (TRAIN) Law.
To blame the current administration for rising fuel costs isn't fair. Well, at least not if motorists are buying the DOE's latest statement.
The agency says the country's current predicament is the result of "the current global situation where international political and economic factors are at play." Here are those factors, according to the DOE:
1) "US exit from the Iran nuclear deal was accompanied by its re-imposition of economic sanctions on Iran, including those related to oil."
2) "Political and economic instability in Venezuela, which has the world's largest proven oil reserves and is considered one of the largest oil exporters in the West."
3) "A lack of clear commitment from oil-producing countries for an actual production increase to replace expected supply constraints."
4) "Global oil prices also tend to go up in the winter months (October-March), as demand for heating is at its highest."
The DOE also took the opportunity to assure the public that it is doing everything it can to make the situation more bearable. Here's what the agency says it's doing:
1) "Public-utility vehicles are able to avail of fuel discounts through the continued expanding partnership of the DOE with various oil companies."
2) "We have asked the Philippine National Oil Company–Exploration Corporation, one of our attached agencies, to look into importing low-cost diesel to augment supply and offer a more affordable fuel option to our public transportation sector."
3) "We are also part of the inter-agency Pantawid Pasada program being led by the Department of Transportation, where fuel subsidy cards are being distributed to qualified franchise holders of public-utility jeepneys."
And lastly, the agency is calling for everyone's full cooperation and understanding: "Your full cooperation is needed in facing the challenges ahead. Now more than ever, we are appealing for each and every one of us to adopt simple yet far-reaching changes in the energy choices we make, with efficiency at its core."
You can check out the DOE's full statement in the Facebook post below. Expect more of the same until prices at the pump finally stabilize.