Oil still overpriced despite rollbacks, KMU says

May. 15, 2012

Media Release
14 May 2012

Oil still overpriced despite rollbacks, KMU says

“Oil is still overpriced and a big-time rollback is still needed.”

This was labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno’s reaction to another round of price rollbacks implemented by oil companies today, saying the Aquino government should order the oil companies to implement a bigger rollback.

Citing a research made by Arnold Padilla, public information officer of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, KMU said diesel was overpriced by PHP 7.86 (USD 0.18) per liter and gasoline by PHP 16.18 (USD 0.38) per liter last March.

Price rollbacks since March still do not amount to at least half of the said amounts.

“The oil companies are still overpricing petroleum products even as they are implementing rollbacks,” Roger Soluta, KMU secretary-general, said.  He added, “In truth, they can increase overpricing per liter even as they roll back prices, by implementing rollbacks that are less than the amount dictated by world prices.  What’s clear is that the rollbacks do not amount to even half of the overpricing.”

KMU said President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III should act on the issue of oil prices, which remain high despite the rollbacks.

“It is abominable that the president went on ‘Noynoying’ when oil prices were soaring.  It is still abominable that he continues on ‘Noynoying’ now that oil prices are falling because oil companies continue to overprice their products,” Soluta said.

“The president continues to connive with oil companies, especially the Big 3, by protecting their profits in refusing to step into the issue.  He should use all the powers of his office to force the Big 3 to implement a bigger rollback and junk the Oil Deregulation Law, which has allowed them to overprice their products,” he added.

KMU said the Independent Oil Price Review Committee, which announced that it will release its findings by July, should order the oil companies punished and fined for overpricing petroleum products.

“The committee should come up with recommendations punishing the Big 3 for overpricing.  It will discredit itself in the eyes of the poor and the public if it won’t put forward such recommendations,” Soluta said.  He added, “It should not justify the Big 3’s evil overpricing scheme that has brought about greater suffering for the poor even as it has brought huge profits for the oil companies.”

Reference: Roger Soluta, KMU secretary-general, 0928-7215313

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