Workers slam oil price hike amidst lower world prices

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LABOR center Kilusang Mayo Uno condemned the Big 3 oil companies today for raising the prices of diesel and kerosene this morning, citing the drop in world prices amidst decreasing economic activity due to the global crisis.

KMU said workers and the poor haven’t forgotten how the Big 3 increased oil prices last Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day to take advantage of Filipinos’ wish to reunite with relatives and friends during the holiday season.

It also observed that since Christmas Eve, the per liter price of diesel, the fuel used by jeepneys across the country, has increased overall: increased by P0.45 last Christmas Eve, increased by P0.20 last New Year’s Day, reduced by P0.15 last Jan. 8, and increased by P0.25 this morning.

“Again, we see the Big 3 oil companies carry out their shameless overpricing and profiteering schemes. They are using their monopoly control over the oil industry to increase prices at will in order to boost their profits,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.

“The Big 3 oil companies do not care at all that all hunger and poverty among the majority of Filipinos are getting worse. They only care about further boosting their huge profits,” he added.

The labor center also said that the overpricing and profiteering schemes of the Big 3 oil companies show that the country must move away from a deregulated setup in the oil industry.

“Again, we say: We cannot allow profit-hungry monopolies to freely set the prices of one of the most vital commodities in the country’s economy. The government must end the deregulated setup in the oil industry and protect the people from the Big 3’s overpricing and profiteering schemes,” Labog said.

“Pres. Noynoy Aquino is conniving with the oil companies in upholding deregulation in the oil industry. He is again ‘Noynoying’ on this issue, not doing anything to allow big capitalists have their way,” he added.

“The recent round of oil price hikes and of price hikes in general further makes it clear that workers need a significant wage hike to cope with soaring prices. We are calling on the country’s legislators to immediately pass the P125 Wage Hike Bill,” he said.

KMU has been calling for the passage of House Bill 375, also known as the P125 Wage Hike Bill, filed by Anakpawis Partylist Rep. Rafael V. Mariano and seeking to legislate a P125 across-the-board wage hike nationwide, which is scheduled for a Luzon-wide consultation this Jan. 18.

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