Sunday, August 14, 2011

Lawmaker questions high prices of LPG in Visayas, Mindanao

MANILA – The Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers’ Association (LPG/MA) has asked the Department of Energy to investigate the high cost of cooking gas in central and southern Philippines as compared to cheaper prices in Manila.

The current prices of an 11-kilogram cylinder of cooking gas sell for as low as P631 in Manila and slight higher in some areas.

“We were forced to file the complaint against the excessive pricing of LPG in Visayas and Mindanao because the DOE said it needed an actual complaint to be able to act on the problem,” said Congressman Arnel Ty, who is a member of the House Energy Committee and LPG/MA.

“There is absolutely no acceptable reason for LPG prices in Visayas and Mindanao to be unusually higher than prices in Metro Manila and Luzon. The cost of shipment and moving goods is roughly the same, whether you are in Luzon, Visayas or Mindanao. If anything, it might even be a bit higher in Luzon,” he said.

During a budget deliberation, Ty sought a clarification from Department of Energy about the high cost of cooking gas in Visayas and Mindanao, but failed to get any valid answers.

“In the budget hearing, the DOE itself could not cite a likely reason for the excessive LPG prices in Visayas and Mindanao, except to say the markets are already deregulated, and the Department could not do anything to check the problem, in the absence of a complaint,” Ty said.

LPG prices in Visayas and Mindanao are dictated by Petron Corp., Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp., at Chevron Philippines Inc., and Pryce Gases Inc. In Zamboanga, the price of an LPG cylinder had at one time pegged as over P800 for an 11-kilogram gas. (Mindanao Examiner)

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