By Edwin Fernandez
COTABATO CITY: Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Labor Minister Romeo Sema on Friday filed a proposal urging the regional government to work for the reopening of oil depots in the coastal town of Parang in Maguindanao.
Sema, a concurrent affiliate of the 80-member Bangsamoro Transition Authority, the region’s provisional lawmaking body, said the unceasing increase of prices of petroleum products in the region pushed him to suggest in a resolution the reopening of the oil depots of the country’s three major players in the oil industry – Petron, Shell, and Caltex.
“The depots of these oil firms were shut down in 2003 due to various reasons, including security and feasibility,” he said.
With the depots closed, Sema said prices of petroleum products here and in the provinces of Maguindanao, North Cotabato, and Sultan Kudarat shot up at the consumers’ disadvantage.
Since 2003, oil supplies for Cotabato City and the three provinces have been coming from Davao City or General Santos City with added transport costs passed on to consumers.
“For almost two decades the prices of petroleum are high due to the absence of such facilities,” Sema said in filing his proposed Resolution No. 552, also urging the regional government to help in bringing back to life the depots.
“Everybody knows that when oil prices rise, everything follows,” he added.
Prices of fuel here are at least PHP10 higher than those in the cities of Davao and General Santos.
(Philippine News Agency)