The United Negros Drivers Operators Center is calling on the Department of Energy to hasten action against the much higher prices of fuel in Negros Occidental compared to the National Capital Region.
UNDOC secretary general Jesse Ortega yesterday said Energy Undersecretary Jose Layug Jr. promised last week that he would ask the oil companies to explain why fuel sold in Negros Occidental is P4.50 to P5 higher than in the National Capitol Region.
Ortega said he hopes Layug acts on the matter soon because, since he spoke to UNDOC members last week, prices of petroleum products have gone up by 50 centavos per litter.
“We hope he resolves the price difference problem to help ease the burden on Negros consumers,” Ortega said.
“He assured us he would try to resolve the problem, we hope it was not just a promise,” Ortega added.
Ortega noted that fuel sold in Mindanao is cheaper than in Negros Occidental.
Ortega said he also hopes Layug investigates what appears to be the cartelization of fuel prices in Negros Occidental, with all the oil companies selling their products at about the same price.
Under free trade, there should be price differences, he said.
Layug yesterday told the DAILY STAR he was in Saudi Arabia for an oil forum.
On the Negros concern, he said, “I am set to meet with the oil companies next week upon my return.”
He also said he has not received formal responses yet from the oil companies on his query why prices of fuel in Negros Occidental are P4.50 to P5 higher than in the NCR.*CPG