Workers picket Danding Cojuangco office, hit oil overpricing
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“It is revolting how the oil cartel, in connivance with the Aquino regime, continues to boost their already-huge profits out of workers’ and people’s misery over the overpricing and skyrocketing prices of petroleum products.”
This was the statement of labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno as it condemned the “Big 3” oil companies for overpricing their products in a protest action together with urban poor group Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap or Kadamay and Anakpawis Partylist held at Danding Cojuangco’s San Miguel Corporation office, which now owns 68% of Petron.
Petron has just recently declared that its consolidated income grew by 102.7% from P2.97 billion in January to P6 billion in June this year. Petron, Shell and Caltex ranked number 1, 2 and 7 among the top corporations in the country in 2010.
“Through their monopoly control of the oil industry, and their local overpricing of petroleum products, the ‘Big 3’ has continued to amass huge profits. This as the Filipino workers and people suffer from high and still-climbing prices and overpricing of oil,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.
“It is here in San Miguel Corporation, which is now the majority owner of Petron, where we can see clearly the connivance between the Aquino government and the oil cartel. Noynoy failed to turn against his family’s interests in Hacienda Luisita and we have every reason to believe that he will not turn against his uncle Danding’s interest of boosting Petron’s profits even at the expense of the workers and people,” Labog said.
“The Aquino regime is not doing anything to provide immediate relief to the workers and people amidst the increasing prices of oil, along with other basic goods and services. It is conniving with the Big 3 in keeping the Oil Deregulation Law in place and refusing to stop the Big 3’s overpricing and to punish them for sabotaging the country’s economy,” he added.
“Under Noynoy’s presidency, Danding’s profits are safe and will continue to increase – even to the detriment of the Filipino workers and people,” he said.
Textbook illustration of overpricing
Despite calls from various sectors including the Department of Energy for a price rollback bigger than P2.00 per liter, the Big 3 implemented meager rollbacks this week, with Petron reducing the per liter price of its diesel and kerosene by a mere P1.70 and of its gasoline by P2.50.
“What we have seen this week is a textbook illustration of how the local overpricing of petroleum products is being done by the Big 3. The price rollback that the Big 3 implements whenever there is a drop in oil prices in the world market is very meager compared with the world price movement and very late,” Labog said.
“Contrast this with the Big 3’s attitude whenever there is a surge in the prices of petroleum products in the world market. It immediately jacks up its prices – and by huge amounts, bigger than the price movement in the world market,” he added.
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 to P9.00 per liter.
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