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PIA Press Release

Heightened austerity measures eyed in gov't agencies

By Rose Palacio

Davao City (21 November) -- The government austerity measures are being heightened following the increase of oil products in the world market amidst the strengthening of the Philippine peso.

Davao City second district Congressman Vincent Garcia, who is a member of the house committee on energy said the runaway price of oil is beyond the control of the government since this is being dictated by the world market.

"Everyone is enjoined to employ stronger conservation measures. Now is the time to unite our efforts and give our share as a consolation to our current energy situation", he said.

The government has included deeper spending cuts and higher collection of taxes to balance the target budget deficit.

Congressman Garcia said the lower house is now pushing for the immediate passage of the bill on alternative and renewable sources of energy, including passage of important measures such as the Cheaper Medicine Bill.

Currently, as reported by the Department of Energy, there is an average increase of 60 percent on the price of oil in the world market. The domestic oil price increment is well below the global price due to the strengthening of the peso.

The price of crude oil is expected to hit $100 a barrel in the coming weeks until the end of December 2007. This might lead to an additional increase in gasoline price of P1.03 per liter up to P3.21 per liter this year, the DOE reported.

Earlier, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ordered all government agencies to mitigate the impact of spiraling prices of oil in the world market on the industrial and commercial sector in a move to clinch the Philippines' goal of being globally competitive by 2010 and at the same time increase productivity. (PIA) [top]

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