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No looming oil shortage, only lower superprofits for Big 3 — Anakpawis
In The Press Posted on November 16th, 2009.
DAVAO CITY – While giant oil firms and the Malacañang are on a staged war over Executive Order 839, which ordered a selective oil price freeze in aid of the typhoon Ondoy and Pepeng victims in Luzon, public transport sector and urban poor communities here said there is no looming oil shortage, only less superprofits for the oil cartel.
Drivers demanded for the implementation of the same price freeze in more impoverished areas outside Luzon. Anakpawis also slammed the Arroyo government for bowing to pressures of the oil firms which are foisting a story of looming oil shortage with the reported remaining 13-day oil supply in the country.
“The price freeze in oil prices should not be selective. It is not only the people of Luzon who are hard-up. The continuous increase in the prices of commodities have made the poor even poorer,” Franchie Buhayan, Anakpawis Davao City Spokesperson said.
Buhayan recalled the 2006 National Statistical Coordination Board report which showed that poverty incidence in Southern Mindanao rose up by 2.1percent from 28.5 percent in 2003 to 30.6 percent in 2006.
“The oil cartel are using scare tactics on the public, using (Environment secretary) Angelo Reyes as their mouthpiece so that they will again be allowed to increase oil prices. They are keeping the people hostage,” Buhayan slammed.
In the first place, the EO 839 has yet to truly benefit the people. Anakpawis cited a Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) study that shows there is an overprice of 5.81 pesos per liter oil based on the Dubai crude fluctuations before Ondoy hit the country. “In the end, what they really want from their staged drama is another oil price hike,” Anakpawis said.
Transport group Transmision-Piston also echoed these demands as drivers and other members of the transport sector bear the brunt of the increasing oil prices. Hundreds of drivers included the issue during a recent picket rally at the Land Transportation Office, where they also denounced the implementation of the Radio Frequency Identification or RFID.
Edil Gonzaga, Transmission-Piston secretary general, cited Manong Kadyong, a non-aircon taxi driver who resides in Sasa, who said that out of the 1,550 pesos gross income that he collects driving around 14 to 15 hours a day, he only gets to take home as much as 250 pesos or lower. Some 800 pesos – the bulk of his earnings – goes to gasoline stations. The rest goes to taxi rental and two simple meals from a sidewalk eatery.
“Murag Shell ra man ang akoang ginabuhi (It’s like I’m working for Shell),” Mang Kadyong said, sharing his plight to Transmission Piston in a forum in Sasa.
Anakpawis is calling for the immediate approval of House Bill 3031 or the Petron Renationalization Act, which was filed in the lower house by Anakpawis, Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo and Gabriela Women’s Party Rep Liza Maza in 2006.