BAGUIO CITY: A former regional trial court judge asked oil retailers in Baguio to explain the high price of petroleum products here even as the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry-North Luzon had earlier challenged the Department of Energy (DoE) to conduct an investigation into the “excessive” price.
Former judge and two-time councilor Edilberto Claravall bewailed that oil traders are charging an excessive price as compared to those charged by their counterparts in the lowlands.
“It is now high time for oil retailers to explain to the public why the high cost of oil here as compared to those charged by oil retailers in the lowlands,” said Claravall.
Diesel prices in Baguio and Benguet range from P23 to P24 per liter, while gasoline is priced between P43 and P44.
In comparison, retail prices in the lowlands are P18 to P19 and P38 to P39, respectively.
“Poro Point is but 40 kilometers from the city and it will not cost retailers that much to transport oil products from La Union to Baguio,” said Claravall, who is also a former barangay chairman.
“Maybe there are reasons, but the public are left in the dark,” he added.
Earlier, the PCCI–North Luzon asked the DoE that it should conduct a probe on the P5-per-liter difference since the cost of ferrying oil products is not that much.
The PCCI likewise said that most oil retailers have their own oil truck or lorry, so the transport cost must not be that high.
Due to the high petroleum cost, Baguio vehicle owners and even the riding public are deprived of the benefits of slashed oil prices in the world market.