Control oil prices to curb
commodity prices amid calamity, Piston urges gov’t
Date: 23 October 2009
Campaign: Kabuhayan at Katarungang Panlipunan, Ipaglaban!
Reference Person: George San Mateo, Pinag-isang Samahan ng mga
Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (Piston) Secretary General
Contact information: 0909-475-1334
Rather than bully small retailers and producers
Militant transport group Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Operators
Nationwide (Piston) urged the Arroyo government today to impose price
control mechanisms on oil prices following the recent round of oil price
hike, instead of bullying small producers and retailers in a vain effort
to bring relief to Filipinos.
In a noise barrage in Quezon City, Piston denounced the government’s
inaction on the blatant profiteering of “Big Three” oil companies as
Filipinos still reel from the damage caused by typhoons “Ondoy” and “Pepeng,”
saying “the government whip must hit them during calamities.”
“Controlling oil prices in the aftermath of two typhoons is the surest way
of delivering relief to poor Filipino drivers and consumers since it will
effectively bring down prices of basic commodities. But what the Arroyo
government has done is to merely spew rhetoric of compassion, which can
never really bring oil prices down,” said George San Mateo, secretary
general of Piston.
“At a time when thousands of Filipinos are still homeless and jobless, the
recent round of oil price hikes can be just as lethal as the typhoons that
ravaged Luzon. Big Three’s greed is too devastating to prompt hardline
government action on this,” added San Mateo.
While many Filipinos are struggling to recover from the damage caused by
typhoons, the Big Three increased their pump prices last Oct. 20 by as
much as P2 per liter of diesel, making it in the record books as the
highest increase in the price of diesel this year at P2.25 in this month
San Mateo called Efren de Luna, president of Alliance of Concerned
Transport Organizations (ACTO), “a stooge of the Big 3 and Malacañang” for
proposing a new fare hike instead of condemning the greediness of the oil
cartel and the Arroyo government’s refusal to control oil prices.
“A new fare increase is not the answer at the moment to drivers’ woes amid
spiralling oil prices. What drivers urgently need are the government’s
imposition of oil price control and oil price ceiling instead of a new
fare hike which will only add to the burden of our impoverished people who
have been victimized by the recent typhoons,” he said.
San Mateo also criticized Arroyo’s allies in Congress for merely issuing
statements to the media instead of pursuing measures that will end the
profiteering schemes of oil companies.
“The Big Three’s gross insensitivity has long been proven with its
consistent denial of overpricing. They do not need Speaker Prospero
Nograles and Rep Mikey Arroyo’s tirades – which were actually dished out
for pogi points. They should taste a strict price control instead, which
is actually at the disposal of these key government officials, and of
Gloria Arroyo most especially,” said San Mateo.
“Government officials, however, have continuously saidd that price
ceilings are contrary to law. But why not repeal the Oil Deregulation Law,
especially when we have seen how it was abused even in times of calamity?
The people have long voiced out their demand for this unjust law to be
scrapped, yet the Arroyo government has always tied its hands and kept its
mouth shut on our call,” added San Mateo.
According to a paper by the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan or Bayan, Shell,
Caltex, and Petron earn P140 million everyday from overpricing alone under
a deregulated environment. Petron Corporation accounted for P64.64 million
of the said daily profit; Pilipinas Shell, P49.94 million; and Chevron
Philippines, P23.55 million. “They earn this even as many Filipinos have
nothing to begin with to rebuild their lives in the wake of typhoons,”
said San Mateo.
San Mateo said Piston and other groups calling for the repeal of the Oil
Deregulation Law are poised to launch bigger protests in the coming days
if the government and the Big Three continue to prioritize profiteering
over the relief of Filipinos. ###
Secretary Cabral and her
undersecretaru explained that the social work service has already been
devolved as per the local government code, that the social workers in the
town. city and provincial levels are no longer under DSWD, nevertheless
they coordinate with and assist them. She said that it is not true that
there is hoarding of relief goods and that these are delivered as soon as
requests are received. But the reality, as the KMU and Kadamay
representatives pointed out. is that relief goods are not delivered to
beneficiaries as fast as they should be.
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