Press Release
December 4, 2008


Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas today accused oil companies of "sucking blood from Filipinos" by continuing to impose high prices, saying that diesel should be sold in local gas stations at P24/L at most.

Roxas said that worse, the Arroyo Administration appears to be in connivance with the oil companies as it remains numb to appeals from key sectors, including the Senate, for the government to open the books of the oil companies and check how much excessive profits they have amassed to the detriment of the people.

"Mga linta ang mga mga dambuhalang kumpanya ng langis na ito. Naghihirap na ang taumbayan pero kaytaas pa rin ng singil nila para sa diesel. Ang problema ay walang ginagawa si Pangulong Arroyo tungkol dito (These huge oil companies are like leeches. Our people are already suffering, but they continue to impose high prices. The problem is that President Arroyo is not doing anything about it)," said Roxas.

He said his own studies showed that diesel, for instance, should be sold at the most P24/L instead of the current pump price of P35.94/L.

Roxas, who has proposed the lifting of the VAT on oil products, said P3.85 of the current P35.98/L price of diesel is accounted for by VAT.

"Patuloy ang pagsasamantala ng mga kumpanya ng langis sa taumbayan dahil sa inutil ang ating pamahalaan (The oil companies take advantage of our people because the government is inutile)," he fumed.

Roxas said Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes' media-intensive meetings with oil companies have just been for show, noting that Reyes' publicized tirades have been a charade because the Department of Energy refuses to throw the book at them.

"Kaya naman ang taas pa rin ng presyo ng pamasahe at mga ibang bilihin, dahil itong mga kumpanya ng langis ay pinagsasamantalahan ang katangahan ng ating gobyerno. Dagdag pa dito ay may VAT pa na halos P4 kada litro (The reason why fares and prices remain high is because these oil companies are taking advantage of the government's incompetence and reluctance to defend the public interest. Then there's a VAT of almost P4 per liter)," he said. 

                            Dubai Crude Oil Diesel
  US$/bbl PhP/$  PhP/L  PhP/L
July 2008 (PEAK)  $131 44.94  37.10  57.44
Present $49.84
(Ave. as of
Nov. 28)
(As of
Dec. 3)
15.42  35.94
% change in price 62%   58.4%  37.4%

He noted that Dubai oil averaged $49.84/bbl in November (as of Nov.. 28), dropping 62% from the $131/bbl July average. When converted according to the respective peso-dollar rates, this means a 58.4% drop from P37.10/L to P15.42/L.

Meanwhile, local diesel has gone down by only 37.4% in the same time period. If allowed to drop the same way as crude oil, this means diesel can even be sold for as low as P21.83-P23.90.

Roxas added that the actual cost in importing oil has been lower, since oil companies were buying future supply with the expectation of even lower prices in the months to come.

"Walang dahilan kung bakit hindi maibaba ang presyo ng diesel. Hindi man lang sila nagpapaliwanag kung bakit lalong pinapahirapan ang mga jeepney driver, mangingisda at iba pang naghahanapbuhay (There is no reason why diesel prices can't go down. Oil companies are not even explaining why they continue to give a hard time to jeepney drivers, fishermen and others making a living)," he said.

The Ilonggo senator also urged President Arroyo to step in and direct the DOE to impose the government's authority to examine the financial books of the oil companies to determine how much profit they have raked in for continuing to impose these high prices.

"Kailangang maipakita ng ating ehekutibo na hindi pahihintulutan ang pandurugas na ito. P24 kada litro lang dapat ang diesel (The executive must show that it will not tolerate this foul pricing. Diesel should only be P24 per liter)," he said.

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