The Bohol Provincial Board (PB) will be inviting officials of the Department of Energy (DOE) and the country’s “big three” oil companies next month to shed light on the province’s persisting problem on exorbitant fuel prices.
The invitation will be extended to Petron Corp., Chevron Philippines Inc. and Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. through a resolution filed during the PB’s regular session on Friday.
In his privilege speech, Board Member Tomas Abapo Jr., chairman of the PB’s committee on rules, said that DOE Asst. Secretary Leonido Pulido III and Undersecretary Felix William Fuentabella will also be invited as resource persons of the inquiry.
Both DOE officials are expected to join a PB session either on September 1 or September 8.
They are reportedly set to agree to attend once formal invitations are extended.
Pulido was requested to help clarify issues on the relatively higher prices of petroleum products in Bohol compared to other provinces while Fuentebella was asked to discuss matters on power sources.
Previously, a hearing set by a PB AD HOC committee created to address the province’s problems on higher gasoline and diesel prices was snubbed by fuel distributors.
Board Member Benjie Arcamo who has been tasked to lead the committee expressed dismay over the fuel business owners’ failure to attend the inquiry.
In the said hearing on August 3, only Dauis Councilor Vito Racho who owns a Petron fuel station and another who requested not to be named attended out of several who were invited to discuss the longstanding issue on fuel prices.
Board Member Tomas Abapo Jr. last month had again raised the concern after reports on marked difference between fuel prices in Bohol and other provinces surfaced.
In his previous privilege speech, Abapo cited the report of Jose Cagas, a resident of Barangay Booy in Tagbilaran City, noting that diesel prices in Dumaguete City were at P29.70 per liter while it was being sold for P33.70 per liter in Tagbilaran City on June 4.
On the same day, unleaded gasoline in Dumaguete was at P38.92 per liter while it was P41.82 per liter in Tagbilaran City, marking a P-3 difference. (Rey Tutas)