The hearing to be held by the Department of Energy on the creation of an Oil Price Watchdog Task Force in the province to monitor fuel price violations will be held at the Negros Occidental Capitol building in Bacolod City, 2 p.m. Friday, Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3rd District), said yesterday.
He said top officials of the province and congressmen are expected to attend.
Benitez had sought the creation of the price watch dog after numerous complaints were aired that Negros Occidental pays much more for its fuel compared to Metro Manila and Cebu.
The task force will be composed of the DOE, local government officials and stakeholders, and will determine the filing of complaints against oil price violators, he said.
The Oil Deregulation Law sets penalties for cartelization, predator pricing, and failure to comply with the reportorial requirements, which the watchdog task force will be tasked to determine so necessary complaints can be filed before the Department of Justice against violators who are driving the prices up in Negros Occidental, he said.
Penalties set for violators are 6 to 12 years imprisonment plus P250,000 to P500,000 fine, Benitez said.*CPG