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PIA Press Release

Gov't lifts tariff on imported oil

Davao City (4 July) -- "While the high price of oil is beyond the control of any government, the Arroyo administration has lifted the tariff on imported oil as part of an overall effort to moderate drastic increases in the prices of the commodity," President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in her speech before the US-ASEAN Business Council and the US Chamber of Commerce and Industry during her recently-concluded 10-day official trip in the United States.

The President said the surging prices of oil and food are a global challenge that can be overcome only through the cooperation of all nations.

In the Philippines, her administration has been working "tirelessly to address the challenges arising from the slowdown in the global economy, combined with the spike in high oil and food prices," the President said.

"The government is working hard to make sure that our country's food supplies remain stable and we put on food on the table."

To date, we have been able to keep the situation from becoming a crisis through swift interventions to ensure our supply of rice, effective distribution and enforcement of laws against hoarding, the President said.

To avoid rice supply disruption, the Arroyo administration has adopted three fundamental responses: one, is to ensure adequate supply by reaching out to its ASEAN neighbors who happens to be big rice-exporting countries.

Two, the government ensure the distribution of rice to people who really need the staple food "most effective and cost-effectively" by enlisting the assistance of faith-based organizations and the schools in the distribution of subsidized rice; and

Three, the President has ordered maximum vigilance of the government's rice stock to avoid hoarding and the diversion of the cereal to the commercial market.

"We must be vigilant that unscrupulous traders do not exploit the situation," the President said. (PIA) [top]

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