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PIA Press Release
2005/08/26

Arroyo calls for national unity against oil crisis

By Pops H. Gumana

General Santos City (August 26) -- With the inevitable increase of oil prices in the world market, Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo urged Filipinos to make austerity measures a common agenda in preparation for the foreseen oil crisis in the country.

Pres. Arroyo emphasized energy conservation, saying everyone should save power and change the usual lifestyle because our country is facing the risk of oil crisis.

To explain how worse the situation would be, she said that even George W. Bush, who is considered as the most powerful leader in the world, couldn't do anything in stopping the massive hike in the prices of oil.

According to Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, the oil crisis is considered as a threat to the national security because "it can lead to a situation in which people could be agitated and lay the blame on the leadership."

"This is why we want the people to get it straight from our economic managers that all these things are not contrived, that these are market forces not within our control, and that even the United States is affected," he explained.

This is contrary to the statement of Sen. Aquiline Pimentel who attributed the oil crisis as the result of the alleged lost credibility and poor popularity of the President.

Moreover, the Department of Energy envisaged that the painful effect of the said crisis could be felt on 2008, an extreme scenario of what we are experiencing right now.

This is expected to affect not only the common people, but also the government who is faced with this huge dilemma.

In a statement made by House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rolando Andaya, Jr. P7 billion pesos was appropriated from the 2005 national budget for gas and utilities. However, this was based on the $32/barrel price of oil in the world market.

Andaya added that the price of oil per barrel has now doubled which is a manifestation that our government's budget for this year is insufficient unless the government would make drastic moves to conserve energy.

Amidst this ongoing crisis, Pres. Arroyo is asking everyone to set aside politics and should focus instead on the quandary that is being faced by our country. (PIA-SarGen) [top]

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