FORMER Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. recently expressed his support for the return of the Oil Price Stabilization Fund (OPSF) which he believes will alleviate the effects of rising oil prices on the Filipinos.
In an interview, Marcos said in the face of rising oil prices, it would be a good idea to consider the return of the OPSF which was set up to in 1984 during the time of then President Ferdinand Marcos to help protect consumers from fluctuations in the prices of oil in the world market.
However, he pointed out that the OPSF was scrapped with the deregulation of the oil industry during the time of the Ramos administration.
Senator Marcos explained that under the OPSF, the top three Oil companies then consisted of Shell, Caltex, and government-owned Petron contributed a portion of their sales to the fund.
“Ang sistemang yan, yung big three na tinatawag. The three big oil companies. Kapag nagbebenta sila nang petroleum products may binabayad sila na porsiyento na inilalagay diyan sa stabilization fund. Ano ngayon ang purpose ng stabilization fund? Kapag biglang tumataas o biglang nagpapalit ang presyo nang petroleum products sa mundo, dahil wala nga tayong control,” Marcos said.
He further stated that with a buffer fund, Filipinos will be protected with the effects of rising oil prices because the fund will be used to cushion the increase. “Imbes na mabigla ang consumer na magbago lahat ng presyo kasi pag pinabayaan yan ganun na nga ang mangyayari. Kagaya ng nangyayari ngayon, pagka tumaas bigla, sinusuportahan ang presyo. May subsidy galing dun sa stabilization fund,” he explained.
He further stated that the OPSF will also cushion inflation because when prices of oil are low, the prices of commodities are also low.
Marcos said this will prevent the current set-up wherein the decrease of oil prices does not automatically translate to the lowering of goods. He noted that while it is understandable that rising oil prices are dictated by market forces, he found it odd that when prices do eventually go down, prices of basic commodities do not seem to adjust to reflect the change.
“Yun lang napansin ko, kapag tumataas ang presyo ng langis sa mundo eh di tataas ang presyo ng ibat’t-ibang bilihin. Ngunit kapag bumababa yung presyo ng langis, hindi naman sumasabay yung presyo ng bilihin. Tuluy-tuloy lang sa pagtaas. Yun ang hindi ko maintindihan. Kasi siyempre naintindihan natin maraming derivatives ika nga nanggagaling sa petroleum products na produkto. Siyempre lahat ng commodities kailangang gumamit ng gasolina o gumamit ng krudo. Lahat yan eh maapektuhan kapag tumaas. Pero bakit pagbaba eh hindi nasasabay yan? Naiiwan na lang dun yung presyo,” he said.