“The Big 3’s overpricing of petroleum products and the threat that oil companies will be ‘adjusting’ prices twice a week make junking the Oil Deregulation Law even more urgent.”
This was labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno’s statement in the face of Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation’s announcement that it will be adjusting prices twice a week and of government inaction on the overpricing being implemented by the Big 3 oil companies.
“As long as the oil industry is unregulated by the government, the Big 3 oil companies will continue to suck the Filipino workers and people dry through monopoly pricing and local overpricing,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.
“Twice a week price adjustments will not ease the people’s suffering from high and skyrocketing prices of petroleum products. It is just a new guise by which the Big 3 will fleece the workers and people,” he added.
“Let us remember that the Big 3 implements overpricing both by increasing and decreasing prices – by amounts lower or higher than that dicated by the world market. So a twice a week price adjustment will definitely not stop the local overpricing of oil products,” he said.
Junk Oil Deregulation Law
KMU reiterated its call for the junking of the Oil Deregulation Law or the Downstream Oil Industry Act of 1998.
“The deregulation of the oil industry has only meant the unhindered profiteering of the oil companies from the pockets of workers and people who are already suffering from poverty, hunger and unemployment,” Labog said.
“We vow to exert pressure on the government to step into the oil industry to uphold the interests of the Filipino workers and people. We really cannot allow an industry as vital to the economy as the oil industry to be in the control of profit-hungry corporations,” he added.
“The first step, really, is to junk the Oil Deregulation Law. The slowing down of so-called ‘price adjustments’ by the Big 3 which junking this bill entails will by itself an immediate relief on the workers and people,” he said. Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU Chairperson