I HAD hoped that a previous column on oil prices would have been the last but with local gasoline prices increasing upwards 15 times already this year alone (2011), answering the question of how to put the brakes on skyrocketing oil prices becomes imperative. Oil firms and government are singing the same tune as to the supposed reason for the increases: that it is the world market that dictates oil prices and that we are essentially helpless in this regard.
(Second of two parts. Part 1 appeared last Thursday.)
WHAT does the government have to show us after a decade of power industry privatization under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act or EPIRA? Power rates have increased all over the country. More rate hikes loom for consumers from various recovery schemes legitimized under the law. The debts of the National Power Corporation (NPC) have not been substantially reduced from its US$16.4 billion level in 2001 and there is the recurring threat of brownouts in Visayas and Mindanao due to lack of supply
IF it still has escaped your attention, the prices of oil products have already risen 10 times this year. Diesel prices have increased by P7.95 per liter in less than only three months. Kerosene and gasoline rose by an average of P7.30 and P5.30 per liter respectively within the same time period. The recent price increases would seem to surpass the rapid rise in oil prices in 2008 when diesel reached P56 and gasoline topped at around P60.