Oil price hike review ordered

Published by rudy Date posted on April 25, 2011

DAVAO CITY, Philippines    – President Aquino has ordered a review of all oil price increases amid the rising prices of commodities.

“We have to review whether a price hike is warranted or unwarranted,” the President said during his brief visit to this city last Thursday.

The President arrived here to pay his respects to the late banana magnate and industrialist Jesus Ayala, who was his and his mother’s adviser.

Aquino explained that players in the oil industry should come up with a formula that would ease the continuous oil price increase.

The President said he expects oil price increases to end with the resolution of the conflict in the Middle East, except for Yemen and South Africa.

He also welcomed the positive developments in Libya where the contending parties have started talking.

Aquino has refused calls, especially from the militant groups, for him to reduce or abolish the value added tax (VAT) on oil products and scrap the Oil Deregulation Law.

“And in place of the Oil Deregulation law, is it oil price stabilization? Where would you get the loss of the oil companies? From government and we do not have the resources. Then we will borrow again,” he said.

The President said calls for such moves as “scrap the VAT” actually only sound good but are not feasible at all.

He said that scrapping VAT would mean the loss of necessary source of funds for needed government operations.

Prosecute oil firms

Meanwhile, militant public transport group Piston (Pagkakaisa ng Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide) urged Malacañang yesterday to prosecute oil firms that increased pump prices of unleaded gasoline and diesel last April 19.

George San Mateo, Piston secretary-general, said it was not enough for the government to ask for an explanation from the erring oil firms such as Chevron (Caltex), Shell, and Total, on imposing the pump price hike.

“The government should file cases and punish these oil companies to serve as a lesson and prevent this cartelized overpricing from happening again,” San Mateo said.

San Mateo issued a statement condemning the April 19 oil price hike of 25 centavos on the pump price per liter of diesel and 60 centavos on unleaded gasoline.

He said the price hike was high when one looks at the Department of Energy computation of a reasonable price hike of 16 centavos increase for diesel and 39 centavos for unleaded gasoline.

“Based on a computation of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, the oil overprice is now P7.50 per liter,” San Mateo said. – Edith Regalado, Rainier Allan Ronda, (The Philippine Star)

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