PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — AFTER consultations with the National Disaster Coordinating Council and oil players, Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera yesterday recommended the lifting of Executive Order 839 which puts a cap on the prices of oil products. Devanadera co-chairs the Department of Energy-DoJ Task force which is investigating the increases in the prices of oil products.
“We have submitted to the Office of Executive Secretary a recommendation of the lifting of EO 839 together with the proposal of Petron and Seaoil to give a package of discounts in identified areas where the effects of the typhoons are still severely felt,” the Justice chief said. “There is no need any more for the oil price freeze,” she added.
She said the two oil companies offered to give discounts to areas still recovering from the typhoons. These are Benguet, Baguio, Pangasinan, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Mt. Province, Isabela, Rizal, Cainta, Marikina and Taguig.
Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said the price freeze on oil products may be lifted partially.
He said the NDCC is studying the possibility that EO 839 will only be imposed in areas which have yet to recover from the effects of typhoons “Ondoy” and “Pepeng.”
“Sa ngayon siyempre may continuing assessment ang NDCC. Kung kinakailangan i-lift ang 839 sa Luzon at epekto niyan sa specific areas,” Ermita told an interview with DZXL.
“Titingnan kung ano ang lugar kung saan iiral sapagka’t di pa nakaka-rehabilitate o nakakaluwag sa kahirapan dahil sa nasalanta sila ng bagyo. Diyan pagbabasehan ng Pangulo pagdating ng recommendation,” he said.
He cited Baguio City, Central Luzon, Zambales, Southern Luzon, Quezon province and some areas in Laguna which were badly damaged and have yet to recover from recent typhoons.
The state of calamity which was declared nationwide following the devastation wrought by typhoon “Pepeng” is now in effect only in Luzon.
Amid claims of a looming oil shortage, the President on Tuesday ordered the NDCC to study whether the state of calamity which was the basis for the price freeze on oil can be lifted.