September 10, 2012
Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Transportasyon
Transport workers call oil price review body’s findings
pre-fabricated and bogus, vow to continue fight
In a public presentation for transport groups held today at the UP Diliman School of Economics, the Independent Oil Price Review Committee (IOPRC) refuted claims that petroleum products in the country where unfairly priced as they exonerated oil companies from allegations of amassing excessive profits. The body also said they saw “nothing extraordinary” with local fuel price movements noting responsiveness to world market price changes.
Meanwhile, members of the Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Transportasyon (PMT) and allied organizations protested outside to condemn what they called “pre-fabricated and bogus findings and recommendations by the committee”. According to them “the self-professed independent body turned out to be another instrument to cover up abuses being perpetrated by oil companies and defend the bankrupt oil industry deregulation policy. The only “good thing” to come out of this shenanigan is that it exposed, once again, the collusion between government and oil companies to cause the suffering of the Filipino masses.”
“We are not surprised. We have heard such conclusions time and again from Sec. Almendras and his predecessors at the DOE. What would you expect from a body created, tasked and funded by the DOE?” said Roger Javinal PMT spokesperson.
“But we are dismayed with the esteemed members of the IOPRC for allowing themselves to be used as dummies to justify the exploitation of oil companies and rationalize the inaction of their cohorts in government. We had expected more from them, specially Prof. Diokno.” continued Javinal.
“To find the oil deregulation policy successful in promoting fair prices by the simple increase in the number of companies who sell petroleum products in the country is garbage and an utter insult to the Filipino people’s intelligence. The high-faluting way the IOPRC presented its findings and recommendations, without caution of probable illusions, false-relationships and biases the techniques or approaches employed may lead to, smacks of dishonesty and deception,” explained Larry Pascua, PMT Secretary General and representative to the public presentation.
“How can they say that that there was no overpricing and profiteering when they did not even get to study the real price of oil based on production costs, when they did not even get to scrutinize inventory data and supply contracts of local companies and their dummies, when they did not bother to delve into the dynamics of international monopoly corporations? Aside from these necessary issues, the body completely disregarded public welfare in the conduct of the review, to us the only acceptable bias. Prof. Diokno is even quoted recommending the deregulation of public transport to allow them automatic fare adjustments callously declaring that a monthly P.50 increase in fare won’t be too much of a burden. Such statements make us think that maybe this stint with the Almendras committee made him and the rest of the members for life?” added Pascua.
“These findings and recommendations are unbelievable and unacceptable. Illusions peddled by this administration of a “tuwid na daan” and “kayo ang boss ko” governance continue to erode. The only real and meaningful change can only come from the masses’ direct political action. We will continue to protest against fuel products overpricing and profiteering. We will continue to demand for the scrapping of the oil deregulation law and VAT on oil products," concluded Pascua.