Senate Committee on Energy meets with transport sector

The Senate Committee on Energy once again held a consultative meeting with stakeholders in the sector amid the continuing spike in the price of petroleum products.

The transportation sector has issued its grievances to the government, significantly the relentless increase in the price of petroleum products, which has dramatically affected the income of their range.

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Bong Suntay, president of the Philippine National Taxi Operators Association (PNTOA), said that since the pandemic hit, many of their members’ have been forced to stop parking, which the soaring oil prices have exacerbated.

According to Suntay, it is estimated that up to 32,000 taxi drivers have lost their jobs here in Metro Manila alone.

“Prior to the pandemic, we have around 27,000 units which were plying…nung nagsimula yung pandemic and up to this time bumaba ng 12,000 yung number ng mga units na bumibiyahe. Doon sa 12,000 na yun basically you need two drivers per unit on the part of the taxi, so roughly nawalan tayo ng 32,000 driver more or less ang nawalan ng trabaho just in Metro Manila,” said Suntay
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Senate Committee on Energy meets with sector

On the side of the League of Transportation and Operators of the Philippines (LTOP), their president Orlando Marquez Jr. said they had had no other fare hike amid a series of oil price increases.

Marquez said their sector is very pitiful because some of their driver members have been begging on the road since the pandemic hit.

The group’s request includes repealing the oil deregulation law and the return of the Oil Price Stabilization Fund (OPSF).

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The Department of Energy’s answers include a review of the existing oil deregulation law, but Usec Gerardo Erquiza Jr. admitted it is a long-term plan.

Senator Imee Marcos also wondered why some businessmen in Tawi-Tawi can sell cheaper crude oil that is only playing at P60 to P65 per liter.

The DOE explained that it is not regulated and can bring down prices. However, Erguiza also clarified that the process of selling like this in Tawi-Tawi is illegal.

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