Press Release
September 14, 2008

"Where is justice", Loren says of oil companies' P2-rollback

Senator Loren Legarda yesterday expressed dismay over the P2 rollback made by oil companies the other day, calling it too small considering the significant decrease in oil prices in the world market.

"While we offer gratitude to their move to rollback, still many, particularly the drivers themselves, are left wondering what was the basis in coming up with that meager P2 cut in prices," said Legarda.

"Where is justice," said the Chairperson of the Senate Economic Affairs Committee, referring to the P2 cut on gas pump. "Now I personally want to know how these industry players arrive at certain prices of their petroleum products."

The prices per barrel of oil in the world market retreated to $92 from as high as $150 recorded late July, and drivers, especially those belonging to PISTON and Pasang Masda groups, felt somewhat "cheated" despite the rollback which they believed should be higher than the trumpeted P2 cut.

"You could not blame these people to react that way because they more or less have god idea on the computation of oil prices," added Legarda.

Local motorists are pressing for the oil companies to implement price cuts of up to P8 per liter.

Oil companies have reduced their pump prices in diesel and gasoline products by P2 Thursday, save for Unioil which went one step further when it reduced its gasoline price by P3 and the diesel by P2 per liter.

"This is the ideal situation by which we can see whether the deregulation of the oil industry has an effect," said Legarda.

Legarda also cautioned the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to show its concern on the long-suffering public by ascertaining whether the rollback was enough based on the computation.

"The DTI has idea on how should the computation be done to dictate the prices of petroleum products. If the Consumer and Oil Price Watch can do it, I don't think the DTI can't," she said.

"This is especially urgent since the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is perceived to be considering cutting its production," she explained.

She added that the OPEC's threat to cut its production may add pressures on pricing anew, and that the same oil companies would be in their usual quickness to increase their prices.

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