RP may explore buying cheap Venezuelan oil
Oil consumers in the Philippines face difficulties in keeping up with the rising costs of gasoline and other by-products in the domestic markets. And the national government's Department of Energy has not even batted an eyelash to introduce measures that would ease the heavy burdens of ordinary motorists and the millions of household consumers who rely on natural gas for their kitchen uses.
The DOE must already prepared a program long time ago as how the country can cope of the impacts of oil price hikes in the international markets. And members of the Oil Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) have no plans increasing their production levels at this time, even with the prodding from US President George Bush, who went to visit the Gulf countries a couple of days ago. The president's visit, as was revealed in news reports, was meant to solicit support from Arab countries allied with the U.S., to tame Iran's ill feelings against the America's interests in the region. And the other one was to coax these oil producers from spiking their production capacities for the purpose of stabilizing oil prices in the world markets. However, Saudi Arabia, the leading oil producer among the OPEC nations, seemed hell bent not to heed to the Bush's call.
At the moment, the severe impacts of these oil price hikes are the developing nations, whose economies are already saddled in huge debts. However, there is still a solution to this problem if the Philippine government may take another shot of developing bilateral relations with Venezuela, one of the biggest oil producers in Latin America, and try to convince the South American government on the possibility of suppying the Philippines with cheap fuel.
But even at this writing, this option appears to be out of the picture for now. Simply because the Philippine government doesn't want to hurt the diplomatic channels of countries where it has established. However, if the Manila government may take a second look, many people will surely benefit from this move and the oil cartels in Manila will have no choice but to lower their prices as a means to compete with the Venezuelan oil price tag, which is very much lower. Another good thing that may be considered by concerned non-government organizations is to take the lead in this endeavor. One of them can organize a citizen's energy network that will represent ordinary consumers in the country to secure cheap oil supplies from Venezuela. Hopefully, this move will not elicit negative comments from the administration, should an NGO spearheads this gargantuan project like what Mr. Joseph Kennedy is doing in America right now. In the U.S., it is always much cheaper to buy oil from gas stations that get their supplies from Venezuela.
It is hard to imegaine at this moment that the price of gasoline in Manila has hit P42 per liter. Compute this times four and the sum would be P168 per gallon.
Compare this with the U.S. price of US$3.20 per gallon right now. That of the Philippines is still much lower a bit. But the debate should always deal on the purchasing power of the peso and the income of the ordinary Filipino workers on a daily basis. How can you cope with this price if an ordinary worker is only earning 500 pesos per day? This is not to mention the heavy traffic which makes it all the more an added burden to the fuel tank.
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