Palace warns traders not to take advantage of oil price hikes

MANILA MalacaAang on Thursday called on traders and retailers not to take advantage of the oil price increases triggered by movement of prices in the world market.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque made the appeal amid reports that inflation rate continued to increase due to oil price hikes and new excise taxes from Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law implementation.

You know, unfortunately, some of our countrymen are taking advantage of this TRAIN and oil price hikes to increase also the prices of basic commodities, Roque said in a press briefing in Marawi City.

Roque said the government has no control of the oil price hikes in the world market.

Our appeal to our retailers, while the prices of oil continued to increase, let's unite Filipino nation: Do not take advantage. The prices will really increase, do not overprice just to get more profit, the Palace official appealed.

He also asked the public to be vigilant and report the traders and store owners who are charging way beyond the suggested retail price (SRP).

We have suggested SRP, especially on food, let us check if the prices of the commodities are following the SRP. If not, report it to DTI (Department of Trade and Industry), Roque said.

Roque assured that the government is addressing the impact of the oil price increases in the world market.

The people in the government are now making steps. We are looking at the possibility of importing cheaper oil products from non-OPEC members like Russia and even the United States, Roque said.

China is getting oil from stock pile of America and we will see if we can also adopt what China is doing. We are exploring everything but we should understand that we have no control of the oil price hike, he explained.

Roque said the government can also suspend the implementation of higher excise tax from TRAIN law if the oil prices in the world market will hit USD80 per barrel.

Only the higher excise tax will not be collected if it will reach USD80. There is still excise tax, the lower excise tax, he clarified.

This prompted the local oil companies to implement price increase on gasoline by at least PHP1.60; kerosene by PHP1.00, and diesel by PHP1.15 per liter on Tuesday.

Currently, the prices of gasoline range from PHP49.25 to PHP59.26 while diesel at PHP40.25 to 46.33 per liter, according to data from the Department of Energy. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency