By DAVID CAGAHASTIAN
Malacañang has given Department of Energy (DoE) Secretary Angelo Reyes a two-week deadline to solve the shortage in the supply of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) nationwide.
Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said Reyes should solve the shortage in the supply of LPG within two weeks or he would be admonished for failure to solve the energy problem.
Ermita said Department of Energy (DoE) Undersecretary Roy Kyamco has denied reports that the LPG shortage would last until March, citing supplies are starting to arrive.
“According to Undersecretary Roy Kyamco, starting a week ago, the delivery of LPG started to come in and this delivery will continue until March. He said it’s not true that there will be a shortage up to March,” Ermita said.
The Executive Secretary said the arrival of the deliveries would ensure that the LPG shortage would be solved within two weeks.
“He asked me to give them two weeks, then if the problem has not abated, then we will call the Department of Energy to task,” Ermita said.
Kyamco explained that the LPG shortage was caused by delays in the delivery to replenish the supplies that have dwindled due to the high demand for LPG during the Christmas season.
Ermita said he could only admonish Reyes for the LPG shortage if the two-week deadline lapses without solving the LPG shortage, and that the decision on whether to dismiss him for the prolonged and unexplained LPG shortage lies with President Arroyo.
“I will have to call him to task if his promises are not realized, then he would be able to give us some explanations,” Ermita said.
VP De Castro warns hoarders of cooking gas
Attributing the shortage of cooking gas or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to illegal acts of hoarding and profiteering, Vice President Noli “Kabayan” De Castro warned that these unscrupulous refillers and dealers will be dealt with under full force of the law.
De Castro made the warning amid reports of shortage and unusually high prices of LPG despite the statement of the Department of Energy that there is enough LPG supply.
“I believe that there is an artificial LPG shortage created by unscrupulous hoarders and profiteers who want to rake in profits to the disadvantage of our consumers. I warn those who are manipulating the market…we will definitely go after you and have you liable under the law,” De Castro said.
De Castro said that the Departments of Energy and Justice have already created a task force in order to investigate and prosecute cases against traders who are storing large volumes of the cooking gas.
He called on the DOEDOJ task force to step up its campaign against LPG hoarders after prices of cooking gas reportedly rose to as high as R80 per kilo as against the R45-50-price mandated by the Department of Trade and Industry.
“I also exhort the people and media to report to us those they know are hoarding and creating this artificial LPG shortage. I just want to assure the public that the government is doing everything to normalize the situation and protect the interest of the buying public. The people should not resort to panic buying as this will just worsen the situation,” De Castro said.(MB)
Clearly, there is gas hoarding. And happening under the very nose of the DOE. Judging by how Reyes deals with the power problem in the country today, and his agency’s seemingly favorable eye to the coal plant proponents nationwide, his agency has knowledge about the behind the scenes of the present gas crisis in the country today.