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Imee: Release all fuel subsidies to transpo and agri sectors now!

PHILIPPINES, February 25 - Press Release February 25, 2022

IMEE: RELEASE ALL FUEL SUBSIDIES TO TRANSPO AND AGRI SECTORS NOW!

Obstacles to the release of fuel subsidies for the agricultural and transport sectors must be resolved immediately, Senator Imee Marcos said, as the price of crude oil breached the level of $100 per barrel Thursday.

Marcos, who chairs the Senate committee on economic affairs, said Russia's attack on Ukraine and a possible embargo on Russian oil and gas exports will further push up world oil prices and make local fuels more expensive.

"We must finalize ASAP the implementing rules and regulations for the release of Php500 million in fuel subsidies for farmers and fisherfolk," Marcos addressed the Department of Agriculture (DA).

The senator also urged the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) "not to wait for April" before fuel subsidies are made available to drivers of public utility vehicles, taxis, tricycles, and ride-hailing and delivery services.

Under Special Provision No. 8 of the General Appropriations Act 2022, the government can release Php2.5 billion in fuel subsidies for the transport sector when the average price of Dubai crude reaches $80 per barrel within three straight months.

But Presidential spokesman Karlo Nograles said the DBM has not yet decided on how to interpret the three-month time frame that will trigger the release of fuel subsidies.

"We must decide at once whether the time frame starts in January this year or earlier. With oil now trading above $100 per barrel, the three-month average price of oil from November may reach $80 by next week," Marcos said.

Marcos also called on the Department of Energy to reduce the country's dependence on imports from the Middle East by finding other sources of oil.

"We can avail of lower prices from China, Russia, and other big players not involved in the sanction system of Western nations. Let's open negotiations with Venezuela and African countries to safeguard our national supply and boost our reserves," Marcos recommended.

"In the long-term, we can cut our dependence on fossil fuels by exploiting wind and solar energy more. Our success in Ilocos Norte suggests we can do it on a national scale," she added.

"We still lack a comprehensive and coherent energy plan beyond UC Malampaya. We can explore more local sources of energy with China, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand, if we make our tax regimes more attractive for investment," Marcos also said.

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(Tagalog)

IMEE: FUEL SUBSIDY SA TRANSPO AT AGRI SECTOR, ILABAS NA AGAD!

PINA-PAPLANTSA ni Senador Imee Marcos sa pamahalaan ang mga natitirang balakid sa agarang paglalabas ng fuel subsidy sa sektor ng transportasyon at agrikultura, kasunod ng pagsirit ng presyo ng langis sa $100 kada bariles.

Babala ni Marcos, chairman ng Senate committee on economic affairs, na lalo pang sisirit ang presyo ng krudo at gas sa world market at mas magmamahal ang lokal na mga gasolina matapos bombahin ng Russia ang Ukraine at kung iipitin ng ibang bansa ang mga ini-export na langis ng Russia.

"Dapat na nating isapinal ASAP ang implementing rules and regulations para sa paglalabas ng Php500 million na fuel subsidy sa mga magsasaka at mga mangingisda," giit ni Marcos sa Department of Agriculture (DA).

Iginiit din ni Marcos sa Department of Budget and Management (DBM) na 'wag nang hintayin pa ang Abril at ilabas na agad ang mga ayuda o subsidiya para sa mga driver ng public utility vehicles, mga taxi, mga traysikel, at mga delivery driver.

Sa ilalim ng Special Provision No. 8 ng 2022 General Appropriations Act, pwedeng maglabas ang gobyerno ng Php2.5 billion na pang-fuel subsidy para sa sektor ng transportasyon kapag pumalo ang 'average' na presyo ng krudo ng Dubai sa $80 kada bariles sa loob ng tatlong buwan.

Pero sinabi ni Presidential spokesman Karlo Nograles na hindi pa nakapagdedesisyon ang DBM kung paano intindihin ang tatlong-buwang itinakdang panahon na magbibigay-hudyat sa paglalabas ng mga nasabing subsidiya.

"Dapat desisyunan na natin kung ang 'time frame' o itinakdang panahon ay pinasimulan nitong Enero o mas maaga. Ngayong lampas na sa $100 kada bariles ang langis, ang 'average' na presyo ng krudo mula Nobyembre ay maaaring umabot sa $80 sa darating na linggo," ani Marcos.

Sa harap nito, nanawagan si Marcos sa Department of Energy na humanap ng iba pang pagkukunan ng supply ng krudo para mabawasan o hindi laging umaasa ang Pilipinas sa importasyon ng langis sa Middle East.

"Pwede tayong bumili ng mas murang langis sa China, Russia at iba pang malalaking bansang supplier na hindi saklaw ng parusa o sanction system ng mga Western nations. Simulan din natin makipagusap sa Venezuela at African countries para mapatatag ang ating supply at maparami ang reserbang langis," rekomendasyon pa ni Marcos.

"Sa katagalan, pwede nating bawasan ang pagdepende sa mga gasolina at mas subukan ang wind o solar energy. Ang tagumpay natin sa Ilocos Norte ay pwede rin nating gawin sa buong bansa," dagdag pa ni Marcos.

"Kulang pa tayo sa komprehensibong plano para sa enerhiya maliban sa UC Malampaya. Pwede nating tuklasin ang iba pang lokal na pagkukunan ng enerhiya kasama ang China, Japan, Australia at New Zealand, kapag nagawa nating mas nakaka-engganyo ang sistemang pagbubuwis para mamuhunan sila sa bansa," sinabi pa ni Marcos.