The Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers’ Association, a party of small independent refillers and dealers based in Luzon, has filed a formal complaint asking regulators to investigate the excessive prices of the cooking fuel in the Visayas and Mindanao, an LPG/MA press release said.
LPG/MA Party Rep. Arnel Ty said they filed the complaint immediately after the Department of Energy revealed that compared to Metro Manila and Luzon, LPG retail prices in the Visayas and Mindanao are higher by around P150 per 11-kilogram cylinder and P6.50 per liter for autogas.
The figures were based on the results of the DOE’s countrywide monitoring of oil prices as of Aug. 9, and disclosed in a congressional budget hearing, the press release said.
Currently, LPG retail prices in Metro Manila range from P631 to P745 per 11-kilogram cylinder, and P30 per liter for LPG autogas.
“We were forced to file the complaint against the excessive pricing of LPG in Visayas and Mindanao because the DOE said it needed an actual complaint to be able to act on the problem,” Ty, a member of the House energy committee, said.
Ty said LPG/MA addressed its complaint to the DOE-Department of Justice Task Force under the Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Law of 1998, or Republic Act 8479.
“There is absolutely no acceptable reason for LPG prices in Visayas and Mindanao to be unusually higher than prices in Metro Manila and Luzon,” Ty said.
“The cost of shipment and moving goods is roughly the same, whether you are in Luzon, Visayas or Mindanao. If anything, it might even be a bit higher in Luzon,” he pointed out.
In the budget hearing, the DOE itself could not cite a likely reason for the excessive LPG prices in Visayas and Mindanao, except to say the markets are already deregulated, and the department could not do anything to check the problem, in the absence of a complaint, the press release said.*