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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Meager rollbacks show continued overpricing

Labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno slammed the Big 3 oil companies for implementing a meager price rollback this week, saying the rollback does not correspond to decreases in world prices and that the Big 3 is persisting in overpricing its products.

News reports say the per barrel price of oil decreased by $3.00 to $4.00 last week. According to the “rule of thumb” established by the Department of Energy, a $3.00 rollback in the per barrel prices of oil in the world market should correspond to at least a P1.00 per liter rollback in the country.

The Big 3 oil companies, however, implemented the following rollbacks:
Premium Gasoline Regular Gasoline Kerosene Diesel
Petron & Caltex P1.50 P0.70 P0.50 P0.25
Shell P1.50 P0.70 P0.50 P0.15

“Even when they are implementing rollbacks, the Big 3 oil companies are still overpricing their products. They can dictate the prices because of their monopoly over the industry and the Aquino government’s collusion with them,” said Roger Soluta, KMU secretary-general.

KMU claimed last August that the Big 3 was implementing a P9.00 overpricing in the per liter prices of petroleum products. The amount, it said, was accumulated through price hikes and price rollbacks that do not correspond with the price movements in the world market.

“The charade being acted out by the Aquino government and the Big 3 makes us workers and poor people angrier. Wanting to give good news to people suffering from high prices and low incomes, the government will announce that a big-time rollback will be implemented whenever it can. Yet, the oil companies, wanting to rake in even bigger profits, will implement meager rollbacks,” he added.

KMU pointed out that diesel constitutes 70% of the oil sales in the country, the one used by jeepney drivers.

“Diesel is the one used by many jeepney drivers and is the most consumed of the oil products, yet the rollback in diesel prices is the smallest,” Soluta said.

The labor center also condemned the Aquino government for not fulfilling its promise of reviewing the Oil Deregulation Law, saying there’s no progress in the said review.

“Whatever happened to the Oil Deregulation Law review promised by the Aquino government? The workers and poor people continue to be fleeced by the oil cartel and the government is colluding with the Big 3 oil companies by not doing anything,” Soluta said.

“We don’t expect that much will come out of the review. It is a clear proof of the government’s connivance with the Big 3 that it is not pushing forward with the review. Puro pa-pogi lang itong gobyernong ito (This government is only trying make itself look good),” he added. Roger Soluta, KMU Secretary General

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