KMU slams meager oil price rollback, calls for protests

PRESS RELEASE
15 August 2011

MANILA — Labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno condemned the Big 3 oil companies for implementing a less than P2.00 rollback in the prices of petroleum products today, saying a significant rollback should be implemented to provide immediate relief to a public reeling from high prices and reduced incomes.

“Meager rollbacks won’t provide immediate relief to the Filipino workers and people who are suffering from high prices and reduced incomes. Only a significant rollback will provide immediate relief,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.

“It is well within the capacity of the Big 3 oil companies to implement a significant rollback as their profits have steadily increased in recent years. It is simply revolting for us poor people to see the Big 3’s profits soar as oil prices also rise unabated while we suffer from poverty and hunger,” he added.

Data from the Department of Energy show that the profits of the Big 3 oil companies increased by more than six times since 2001 as the per liter prices of petroleum products almost tripled in the same period.

Overpricing

KMU said that there should immediately be a rollback in oil prices that is equivalent to the overpricing in local petroleum products.

Back in September 2009, then-socioeconomic planning adviser and now-Senator Ralph Recto said that petroleum products are overpriced by as much as P8.00.

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“The rollback should be as much as P9.00 per liter. We have every reason to believe that the per-liter overpricing of petroleum products has increased through the years,” Labog said.

“We have been monitoring oil prices and the movements of local oil prices simply do not match with movements in the world market. Increases in oil prices in the world market are met with immediate and steep increases in the country, while decreases are met with snail-paced and meager decreases. The local overpricing can be located in the accumulated difference,” he added.

“We are calling on the Filipino workers and people to launch various forms of protests against the overpricing being implemented by the local oil cartel in connivance with the Aquino regime,” Labog said.

“Given Pres. Aquino’s apathy towards the plight of the Filipino workers and people, it is only our collective protests which can force him to act on the issue and give immediate relief to us by ordering a significant decrease in oil prices,” he added.

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