“The P2.00 rollback in the per liter prices of oil products being proposed by the Department of Energy is too little. The fact that the Aquino government is proposing such a minimal reduction is proof that it is conniving with the Big 3 oil cartel in implementing an overpricing in petroleum products.”
This was labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno’s reaction to Energy Secretary Rene Almendras’ proposal that local oil companies roll back prices by P2.00 in the light of a US$ 7 reduction in the per-barrel price of petroleum products worldwide since last week.
KMU cited studies showing that the Big 3 oil companies are implementing an accumulated P9.00 per liter overpricing even before the most recent drop in world prices. It also cited former Energy Sec. Angelo Reyes’ “rule of thumb” study showing a US$ 3.00 reduction in per barrel prices worldwide should result in P1.00 per liter rollback in the country.
“By any independent measurement, the proposed P2.00 per liter decrease in oil prices is too meager and is sure to elate the Big 3. The Aquino government is proposing a meager rollback, giving leeway for the Big 3 to reduce oil prices by an even smaller amount – should it decide to reduce prices at all,” said Lito Ustarez, KMUvice-chairperson.
“We therefore say that an immediate rollback should not be less than P9.00 per liter. We will be launching protests in the coming days to demand a significant price rollback,” he added.
KMU slammed the overpricing modus operandi of the Big 3.
“The Big 3’s modus operandi is now there for everyone to see: A reduction in world oil prices is met with slow and meager decrease in local prices while an increase in world prices is met with immediate and big-time increases locally. It is through such a modus operandi that the Big 3 is able to accumulate a P9.00 overpricing at present,” Ustarez said.
“The Aquino government’s connivance with the oil cartel is increasingly being exposed to the public: it has been acting as the Big 3’s spokesperson. It is now doing propaganda work to help the Big 3 implement a meager price rollback despite clear evidence showing a significant rollback should be carried out,” he added.
“Kapag mahal ang langis, matuwid pa ba ang daan (If oil prices are high, should we still call Aquino’s path straight)? Everyone – from farmers and fisherfolk to workers, consumers, commuters and even small businessmen – are suffering from the overpricing of oil prices as well as the high prices,” said Ustarez. Lito Ustarez, KMU Vice Chairperson