Press Release
November 8, 2007


Hirap at gutom na po ang taumbayan. How can we ask people to make sacrifices, when Filipinos know that their leaders are not exploring all options to protect them. Bakit ang mahihirap na naman ang kailangan mag-sakripisyo sa krisis?

The Arroyo administration is fooling itself that, energy conservation measures alone will resolve the crisis caused by speculation in oil pump prices. If they are serious in addressing this situation, without fear or favor, I challenge this administration to call for a moratorium on further increases in oil prices while Congress deliberates proposals to repeal the oil deregulation law. I have filed Senate Bill no.21 calling for the repeal of the oil deregulation law.

Implementing state regulation on pump prices and the activities of oil companies has become more urgent. The benefits of a deregulated environment have not happened. The so-called three sisters of the industry - Caltex, Shell and Petron still control the domestic market, and the smaller oil companies simply follow the prices of the three sisters. Where is market competition there?

Regulation is a positive step in ensuring that our country is not vulnerable to oil price hikes caused by speculation in the trading platform of the futures market and the so-called spot market.

The monopoly of these companies has been further strengthened by the Oil Deregulation Law where automatic oil price hikes are allowed. Consequently, oil companies took advantage of the policy, hiking pump prices of all petroleum products by around 535% since the Oil Deregulation Law was first implemented in April 1996.

The Oil Deregulation Law also provided the big oil companies more space to manipulate pump prices. IBON estimates show that since 2000, pump prices are overpriced by as much as P4.55 per liter as oil price hikes were left unregulated.

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