Labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno reiterated its call to immediately rollback oil prices by P9.00 at the least, which it says is equivalent to the Big 3’s local overpricing of petroleum products, as an immediate relief for the workers and people suffering from high prices, very low wages, and widespread poverty.
“We demand a P9.00 rollback immediately. This is definitely very small compared with the huge profits being amassed by the Big 3 through the years through monopoly pricing and local overpricing,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.
“In truth, even a P9.00 rollback does little to do away with the unabated increases in the prices of petroleum products which the Big 3 is capable of imposing because of their monopoly control over the oil industry,” he added.
KMU cited then-socioeconomic planning adviser and now-senator Ralph Recto’s claim that petroleum products are overpriced by as much as P8.00 to P9.00.
The labor center also said lawmakers’ demand for a P5.00 rollback and the less than P2.00 rollback implemented by the Big 3 show the oil companies’ modus operandi in overpricing petroleum products.
“What we are seeing is part of the Big 3’s modus operandi in implementing overpricing: meeting decreases in oil prices in the world market with meager and belated rollbacks. It is simply revolting to see the Big 3 sucking dry the Filipino workers and people who are already suffering from high prices, low wages, poverty and unemployment,” Labog said.
Lawmakers including Sen. Ralph Recto and Reps. Ben Evardone of Eastern Samar, Winston Castelo of Quezon City and Rodolfo Albano of Isabela demanded a P5.00 reduction in the per liter price of petroleum products, to make the latter attuned with the recent reduction in oil prices in the world market.
The lawmakers said that Nymex crude oil have gone down from $99 to $79 per barrel, but the P44 diesel price is still based on $99.
“We are urging other lawmakers to speak out on the Big 3’s overpricing scheme and join the workers’ and people’s fight against the Big 3’s overpricing and monopoly pricing,” he added.
Repeal Oil Deregulation Law
The labor center also reiterated its call for the repeal of the Oil Deregulation Law, which it said allows the Big 3 to hike prices without letup and implement schemes such as overpricing.
“The Oil Deregulation Law enables the Big 3 to hike oil prices unabated. Its continued implementation under the Aquino regime is a proof of the government’s connivance with the oil cartel to satisfy the latter’s greed for profits, to the detriment of the workers and people,” said Labog.
“Repealing Oil Deregulation Law will enable the government and the people to control oil prices and punish the oil cartel overpricing and monopoly profiteering,” Labog ended. Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU Chairperson