How many more times can the people tighten their belts under the continuing rise of the prices on gasoline, diesel or the fossil fuel? How much longer will the people to just take these blows on their meager resources? By now, the Filipino people know that when the prices of fuel changes, it has a domino effect on everything with a price on it. It is like the rolling wave along the shorelines that suddenly grows into a catastrophic tsunami.
The prices of petroleum has alarmingly been raised nine times this year and as sure as the sun rises in the east, the prices of basic needs follow suit except for the worker’s wages. Public transport drivers’ organizations have even noted that everytime the price of crude oil goes up in the world market, local oil companies make sure to point this out on media and suggest raising the prices or just automatically raise their rates. But when the world market brings down the prices of petroluem, it takes heaven and hell before local oil companies lower their prices if indeed they do. In most cases, oil companies have tons of excuses like the depreciating value of the peso and that the current supply of petroluem was purchased on a higher price and thus no rollback of prices.
Oil companies Shell, Petron, Chevron and other smaller companies capitalizes on the spiking world crude oil prices and the dropping value of the peso to the dollar to also hike their prices and take advantage of hapless the Filipino consumers.
Media reports that “Oil prices have increased four times in the past two weeks. Last Tuesday, oil companies raised prices of gasoline and diesel by P1.50 ($0.03) per liter and kerosene by P1.25 ($0.028) per liter, the third time in eight days, making the accumulative increases in the prices of gasoline by P6.75 ($0.15) per liter for gasoline and P6.50 ($0.148) per liter for diesel since January this year.
“There is no basis at all for the latest oil price hike, or for any this year for that matter, seeing that local petroleum products remain overpriced since the end of 2010,” said Anakbayan spokesperson Vencer Crisostomo. The oil companies always stock up a supply of oil that is good for three months. The products that oil firms are selling at ‘new prices’ come from a stock which is actually lower priced. It is transparent how they’re cheating the public,” he said.
“They don’t actually buy their crude oil from the world market. The ‘Big 3’, which are local branches of global oil corporations, get their stocks from their mother companies,” he said.
Fuel prices do not only affect the workers or employees in the transport sector, public or private. It also lashes at the simple farmers, the school children, and every one else. How much this economic spike shall tighten the belt differs from one economic class to the other but it will bare down most on the bottom rung where the majority of our country’s population is.
More protest actions are expected to be mounted by the progressive sectors of society under the issue of economic crisis which apparently is imposed on the greater population of the country by what has been baptized as corporate greed. On the one hand, corporate greed has found a staunch ally in the government that has continuously betrayed the public’s trust and interests as seen in its inaction to reprimand these abusive oil companies and in rectifying the deceptive Oild Deregulation Law which is the reason behind these unbridled price increases. It has been this kind of injustice that stirs the true spirit of the Peoples’ Power whose anniversary is celebrated every Febraury 25, yesterday, in the name of the liberation from the more than 20-year dictatorship and Martial Law. # nordis.net