Party-list rep seeks urgent certification on bills to lower fuel prices

PRIVATE and public transport vehicles line up at a fuel station in Las Piñas City on June 7 ahead of an announced increase in pump prices. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

A PARTY-LIST representative on Monday called on President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. to certify as urgent several bills that lower oil prices to help consumers burdened by inflation.   

An urgent certification from the president means these bills can be fast-tracked by being passed on third reading immediately after the second reading.  

“Malacañang and the legislative leadership should concentrate more on measures that would alleviate the suffering of ordinary Filipinos especially in lowering oil price, so that other products will have decreasing prices as well,” ACT-Teachers Party-list Rep. France L. Castro said in a statement.   

Ms. Castro and two other progressive party-list representatives filed House Bills (HBs) 400, 3003, 3004, 3005 and 3006 to reduce the price of oil and other petroleum products by removing excise tax, renationalizing Petron, unbundling oil prices, institutionalizing a procurement process for petroleum and regulating the downstream oil industry, respectively.   

HB 400 seeks to scrap excise tax and value-added tax on petroleum products. It will amend Section 49 of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Law and Section 109 of the National Internal Revenue Code.   

HB 3003 proposes that the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) acquire a majority stake of subscribed stocks of Petron Corp. during the first year of its effectivity. The government will appropriate P4 billion for the initial purchase of stocks.   

Under the bill, the PNOC will reacquire 100% ownership within a four-year period.   

“As can be seen there are numerous House measures just waiting to be prioritized by Malacañang and the House leadership,” Ms. Castro said.   

“This bills package when made into law can lower oil prices, cause a domino effect in lowering basic products and services and at least alleviate the suffering of consumers.” — Matthew Carl L. Montecillo