MANILA, March 22, 2011â€”The Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (The National Strength of the Fisherfolksâ€™ Movement of the Philippines or Pamalakaya) demands from the big three oil companies a rollback of P7.50 (US$0.17) on the price of petroleum products, not a measly P1.00 ($0.022).
In a statement, Pamalakaya spokesperson Salvador France said Caltex, Petron and Shell had been overpricing in petroleum products since December 2010.
“What is P1 per liter rollback compared to P7.50 per liter which should be deducted from the current prices of petroleum products? We insist oil companies to rollback the prices of petroleum products by P7.50 per liter and not P1 per liter and the oil cartel should resign from exacting monopoly pricing, price manipulation and overpricing,” the fisherfolk leader said.
Arnold Padilla, economic analyst for the militant umbrella organization Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (New Patriotic Alliance or BAYAN) said that the Big 3 has their â€˜overpricingâ€™ increased by P0.78, from P6.72 to P7.50 per liter this year.
The oil companies had announced a rollback; itâ€™s second for the year. The first one was implemented last January 31, with a reduction of pump prices for gasoline and liter of 75Â¢ and 25Â¢ respectively.
But according to France, itâ€™s not enough compared to the series of price hikes that the Big 3 had implemented this year. From the beginning of the first quarter of 2011, the oil companies had their pump prices adjusted nine times, a total of P7.25 per liter for gasoline and P7.10 for diesel.
Meanwhile, despite the rollback, the Pamalakaya members will not stop their â€œNo Fish Dayâ€ on the 31st, as a sign of protest against the soaring oil prices and an attempt to pressure President Benigno C. Aquino III to do drastic measures in order to prevent more oil price hikes.
Pamalakaya said that the small fishermen were the ones severely affected by the oil price hikes as their income is reduced closer to none. (Noel Sales Barcelona)