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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Big-time oil price hike warrants junking of Oil Deregulation Law

Amidst the impending big-time hikes in the prices of petroleum products, labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno called on the government anew to junk the Oil Deregulation Law, saying the public needs protection from the oil cartel’s profiteering and overpricing schemes in the face of the global economic crisis.

The Department of Energy has confirmed that the per liter price of gasoline is expected to increase by P1.75 and of diesel by P1.30 this week, due to soaring prices in the world market.

“Given the economic crisis and the political turmoil that it is causing, the international and local cartel will never run out of excuses to hike oil prices. We need to at least moderate the oil companies’ greed by clipping their power to unilaterally increase prices,” said Roger Soluta, KMU secretary-general.

“For this round of increase, the international oil cartel is taking advantage of geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and unstable market prices to dictate even higher prices. The local oil cartel will no doubt implement their overpricing schemes on the already exorbitant world prices,” he added.

“Because the Oil Deregulation Law is still in place, all the government can do is comment on price movements. We need to junk this anti-people law so the government can exert some control on price movements in the country,” he said.

Transport rep to audit team

KMU also criticized the DOE’s appointment of Atty. Vigor Mendoza of party-list group 1-UTAK as transport sector representative to an audit team that will be created to investigate the oil companies’ books.

The labor center said Mendoza served as a lawyer of the Aquino-owned Hacienda Luisita Incorporated before serving as a party-list representative.

“Atty. Mendoza cannot possibly represent the transport sector. He will represent the Aquino government, not the tranport sector, in the audit team. He will continue the Aquino government’s service to the oil cartel by clearing the latter of any wrongdoing,” Soluta said.

“This early, the Aquino government’s review of the Oil Deregulation Law is being exposed as a charade. It is becoming clearer that the government does not want to protect the public, but merely wants to de-odorize the reputation of the oil companies and the Oil Deregulation Law,” he added. Roger Soluta, KMU Secretary General

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