THE Department of Energy (DOE) is supporting a bill to compel oil companies to make public their calculations in coming up with increases in pump prices.
Throwing his support for the measure, Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla said the proposed law is “feasible.”
House Bill 4193, authored by Rep. Rufus Rodriguez of Cagayan de Oro City, is now pending deliberations at the House of Representatives.
Under the proposed measure, oil companies shall submit to the DOE and disclose to the public a detailed and comprehensive report on their operations on a monthly basis.
The report shall include, but not be limited to, the amount of oil they import per month and at what prices, the amount of oil they sold, their revenue and expenses, their net income and all other pertinent data as may be required by the DOE.
The bill also requires oil companies to submit to the DOE and report to the public how they come up with the price of gas and diesel per liter.
Petilla, however, said that certain data considered trade secrets may not be made public.
He also said even without a law, the DOE can publish the retail prices of fuel on its website.
He added that a law is only needed when the DOE compels oil companies to submit their pricing mechanism and data.
The DOE chief explained that under the deregulation law, oil prices are deregulated and dictated by market forces.
He said, however, the DOE cannot provide a range of reasonable price movements to guide consumers, stressing that the market, and not the DOE, dictates prices of petroleum products.
“What matters is that the different retail prices of fuel retailers help bring down fuel prices in several areas in Metro Manila and in the provinces,” Petilla said.