By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte has conceded that he could do nothing about the high fuel prices “even if you hang me.”
The President said the country merely relies on imported oil products whose prices also affect the cost of other consumer products.
“Alam mo ngayon wala tayong oil so every time tataas ‘yung oil, automatic tataas lahat ‘yan [You know we don’t have oil so every time oil cost increases, other prices of goods automatically increase],” he said during his visit to Maguindanao.
“Even if you hang me, wala tayong magawa. Bitayin mo man ako ‘pag tumaas ‘yung oil tataas talaga ‘yung presyo because everything that you see is a product of oil [Even if you hang me, I can’t do anything about it. Even if you hang me every time oil prices increase, other costs rise too because everything you see is a product of oil],” he added.
He admitted that the the country was not as blessed as Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia which have their own oil resources. As a result, he said the country has “no buffer” or “reserves” to deal with oil price hikes in the world market.
“Ngayon ibinigay ng Pangulong Diyos sa Indonesia, ibinigay sa Malaysia, ibinigay sa Brunei pero wala sa atin kaya tayo ‘pag increase wala tayong buffer, walang reserba pang-cover natin. Pagtaas niyan, taas lahat [The Lord gave it to Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei but not us that’s why if there’s an increase, we don’t have any buffer, we don’t have reserves. When fuel cost increases, everything else increases],” he added.
Duterte previously claimed that the high cost of fuel was to blame for the country’s soaring inflation a few months ago.
Inflation slowed down to 4.4 percent last January from 5.1 percent in December. The inflation rate eased due to the slower price increases of food, electricity, fuel, among others .