The Department of Energy (DOE) has asked Congress to amend the 23-year-old Oil Deregulation Law as fuel prices continue to climb for the eighth straight week.
DOE said in a statement that it has written to the House and Senate Energy Committees to amend Republic Act 8479 to compel fuel companies to unbundle pump prices.
“The DOE maintains that the unbundling of oil prices would result to greater market transparency by establishing the trends in the prices of oil and finished petroleum products,” the agency said. “This, in turn, would help ensure a level playing field within the oil industry, while upholding the best interests of consumers.”
Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi earlier tried to require oil companies to reveal their pricing mechanism for their fuel products, but this was eventually stopped through a court injunction.
DOE attributed the surging fuel prices to the “continuing rise in world market prices” plus a recovery in demand as more people head out more than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic.
While waiting on Congress’ action, DOE said it has met with oil industry stakeholders to ensure adequate fuel supply and consider the possibility of giving discounts to public transport operators.
“Supply was assured and some companies (e.g. Jetti, Seaoil, Shell, Phoenix, Unioil) agreed to extend discounts to the public transport industry on top of existing discounts currently given like vaccination and loyalty incentives,” DOE said.