Drilon: Leave to next admin the review of oil deregulation law

Drilon: Leave to next admin the review of oil deregulation law

Instead of tying the hands of the next administration with a major policy shift, the government should fast-track the implementation and distribution of the P2.5 billion allocation for financial subsidy and fuel vouchers to qualified public utility vehicle, taxi, tricycle, and full-time ride-hailing and delivery services drivers nationwide, according to Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon.

“To carry out a major policy shift in the twilight of the Duterte administration will tie the hands of the next administration. The proposal of the outgoing administration to revisit the country’s oil deregulation law is a major policy shift that needs to be weighed carefully,” Drilon said.

The President called on Congress to review the country’s oil deregulation law in order to give the government the power to intervene in the event of a spike in oil prices and to revisit the provisions on the unbundling of the price and the inclusion of the minimum inventory requirements in the law.

“I don’t think that has been done before where a major policy shift happens right before a sitting president steps down. We should wait for a new administration to review, amend or repeal the country’s oil deregulation law in order to find solutions on how we can mitigate the impact of the rising oil prices brought about by the ongoing crisis in Ukraine,” Drilon said.

But Drilon said that what cannot wait is the subsidy for affected jeepney drivers who are crying for the government’s immediate intervention.

Drilon stressed that the government should implement the P2.5 billion fuel subsidy program in the 2022 General Appropriations Act.

The appropriation, he said, will provide financial assistance or fuel vouchers to qualified public utility vehicle, taxi, tricycle, and full-time ride-hailing and delivery services drivers nationwide.

“We call for the immediate distribution of the fuel subsidies. Our drivers are struggling. Hindi natin alam kung may natitira pa sa kanilang pambili ng pagkain dahil sa taas ang presyo ng gasolina. We must come to their aid as quickly as we can. Ang sabi nga nila, aanhin pa ang damo kung patay na ang kabayo,” Drilon said.

Drilon said he is open to a review of the country’s oil deregulation in order to find long-term solutions to mitigate the impact of the rising prices of oil products.

However, Drilon said that given that most legislators are preoccupied with the elections, especially when the local election starts on March 25, it will be difficult to conduct a thorough and careful review of the law.

“A special session may be called. However, I do not think we can expect a thorough review and discussion given that it is election season. The debates may instead be influenced by politics,” Drilon said.

Drilon said that what is confronting the country today only emphasizes the importance of choosing the right leaders come May 9, 2022 elections.

“This is how important this election is because on top of the rising debt, inflation and budget deficit, the next president will inherit the problems of the surging oil prices,” he added.

»Drilon: Leave to next admin the review of oil deregulation law«

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