Casiño: PNoy dedma lang sa rising oil prices

AS OIL companies once again increased the price of petroleum products for the third straight week, Party list Rep. Teddy Casiño twitted Pres. Benigno Aquino III for not mentioning it in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) considering that the increase in the prices of oil, power and basic commodities are the basic issues that ordinary Filipinos want to be addressed.

“It is also very convenient that the price hike was implemented the day after his speech, while normally it was done on a Monday. Was this pre-arranged with the oil companies?” asked the solon.

The so-called “Big 3” — Pilipinas Shell, Petron Corp. and Chevron Philippines (formerly Caltex) —  as well as other oil companies, already raised the price of premium and unleaded gasoline by P1.55 per liter; regular gasoline by P2.40; and P1.70 per liter on both diesel and kerosene. They are now geared for another round of hikes.

Petron and Flying V said the pump price of premium gasoline increased by P1.80 per liter; P1.65/liter for regular gasoline, P1.30/liter for kerosene, and P1/liter for diesel. Seaoil said the prices of premium and unleaded gasoline went up by P1.80/liter, diesel by P1.20/liter, kerosene by P1.35/liter, and regular gasoline by P1.65/liter.

Their latest alibi is that there is a spike in imported fuel reflects movements in the international market but they are not saying that as of Friday last week oil was lower in Asia as economic growth in China, the world’s largest energy consumer, slowed to its lowest level in three years in the second quarter,” said the progressive solon.

“Now why is it that the president did not even mention this on the SONA and why is the DOE doing nothing to expose this duplicity and robbery in broad daylight? Is it because the officials of the department were former executives of big players in the energy industry?” the solon asked.

The solon also pointed out that as he already said before oil price rollbacks are miniscule compared to oil price hikes. In a span of three weeks the increase is already P4.20/ liter of gasoline and almost P3/ liter of diesel.

Meanwhile, in a span of less than two months this could bring the price of gasoline back to the more than P50/ liter level, which took 13 times to get to the pre-increase level. “Ganun pa din kasi e, mabilis at sobra kung tumaas, mabagal at kulang pag bumaba,” Casiño described the movement of local oil prices.

“We can ensure that prices stay down in the short term though by cutting the value added tax (VAT) on oil and for the long run of course is the deregulation of the oil industry as contained on House Bill 4355,” he added.

Casiño revealed last May that the oil industry is under a scheme of multiple overpricing, from January 1999 to March 2012, local oil companies have been able to accumulate an overprice of as much as P7.86 per liter for diesel and P16.18 for gasoline.

“In other words, bitin pa din ang mga roll back nang nakaraan at bumabawi na naman ang mga oil companies ngayon,” he said.

A Social Weather Station’s survey on the president’s satisfaction rating conducted last March revealed that among the issues the public thinks is being inadequately addressed by the administration is fighting inflation. From +8 in December 2011, it dipped to zero.

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