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‘Mikey’ sitting on LPG price control bill — solon
In The Press Posted on September 3rd, 2009.
The House committee on energy is sitting on a bill that would lower and regulate the prices of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).
According to Gabriela Rep. Liza Maza, the bill, House Bill 1126, has been pending before the panel headed by presidential son Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel "Mikey" Arroyo since 2007 and had not been acted upon since.
"Matagal na nating inihain ang panukalang ito ngunit mukhang inuupuan lamang ito ng mismong Chairperson ng committee on energy na si Cong. Mikey Arroyo," Maza stressed.
Maza said the LPG and kerosene should be included in the list of basic commodities that should be under price control. She added prices of LPG and kerosene have been a burden to most Filipino households.
"It is officially the start of the ‘ber months (September-December) but to mothers and women, this means added burden as it marks the round after round of increases in the prices of commodities, especially LPG. As long as the government does not regulate this, we will always be at the mercy of giant oil companies and LPG dealers," Maza said.
In July 2007, Maza filed House Bill 1126 or an Act to include LPG and kerosene in the list of basic necessities provided by the Price Act or Republic Act 7581 to give relief to the grievances of the consumers, especially the marginalized women and their families. Up to now, the status of HB 1126 is still pending before the committee on energy.
"If LPG and kerosene will be included in the list of basic necessities, the government can provide effective and sufficient protection to consumers against hoarding, profiteering and cartels with respect to the supply, distribution, marketing and pricing of said goods as provided in the Declaration of Policy of the Price Act. The DTI, for example, can monitor the pricing, develop, adopt and promulgate measures to stabilize prices at reasonable levels for the benefit of millions of households," Maza said.
Maza recalled that in 2001, the price of an 11-kilogram cylinder LPG was only about P197. Now, the price of an 11-kilogram LPG tank ranges from P497- P575. The cooking gas price was again raised to P4 per kilo or P44 per 11-kilogram tank yesterday.
She also cited the National Statistics Office’s Household Energy Consumption Survey in 2004 that showed 52 percent or 8.6 million households used LPG, 56 percent or 9.4 million households utilized kerosene.
This developed as Bayan Muna Reps. Satur Ocampo and Teddy Casiño yesterday urged the public to buy Filipino-made products as a means to save and create jobs.
At the opening of the two-day Buy Pinoy, Build Pinoy exhibit at the North Wing Lobby of the House of Representatives the other day, Casiño called on everyone to "come together and support our domestic industries, patronize and develop local products and promote a ‘Buy Pinoy, Build Pinoy’ policy to provide our fellow Filipinos stable and adequate sources of income amid the global economic crisis."
He said by promoting Filipino products local industries would survive, resulting in stable jobs for the people.
Casiño, citing data from Ibon Foundation, said almost 1.3 million of the 1.5 million jobs created since 2008 are poorly earning.