AAMBIS-OWA Party List Representative Sharon Garin says there is an urgent need for a special session in Congress to address the local fuel situation, reiterating the call made by her many colleagues in the House of Representatives .
A massive fuel price hike took effect on March 8, as the price of petrol increased by PPP 3.60 per litre, diesel by PPP 5.85 per liter and kerosene by PPP 4.10 per litre. liter.
Garin, citing fuel price benchmark Mean of Platts Singapore (MOPS), says prices could rise further by March 15.
“And then there are still estimates from MOPS that by March 15 we could be looking at increases of P12.80 and P8.30 per liter of diesel and gasoline. This is already an emergency and we we can do more in Congress to at least mitigate the effects of rising oil prices on our already struggling economy,” the chairman of the House Economic Affairs Committee said in a press release Wednesday, March 9.
“If and when the House calls a special session, there should be a review of the decoupling of oil prices and the inclusion of the minimum inventory requirements provision in the Petroleum Deregulation Act, as proposed by the Department of Energy (DOE) in the agenda,” Garin continued.
The Chamber is currently in recess in view of the upcoming elections on May 9. Only President Duterte has the power to call Congress to a special session, in accordance with the 1987 Constitution.
Without the President’s approval, the Chamber cannot meet until after the elections.
“We cannot just sit back and watch the economic gains from the easing of restrictions over the past three months crumble. If we hold the special session now, we can pass a measure in one day and the president can sign it immediately,” Garin stressed.
On March 7, the House Select Committee on the Fuel Crisis held a hearing to discuss possible solutions to deal with the fuel crisis. Garin is co-chair of the ad hoc committee.
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