Transport group PISTON criticized the recent oil price rollback as blatantly insignificant compared to the overpricing of oil companies enabled by the Oil Deregulation Law.
Oil companies are set to reduce diesel, gasoline, and kerosene prices today by P0.20/liter and P0.50/liter respectively.
“This meager rollback is an insult to the citizens, especially to those directly affected by the weeks-long oil price hike,” PISTON National President Mody Floranda said. “It has no effect in addressing the diminishing income of drivers and operators in the country.”
PISTON said the Oil Deregulation Law (ODL) has allowed oil companies to rake in billions of profits from overcharging at the expense of the Filipino people’s suffering from high fuel prices. According to estimates, oil companies in the Philippines have overcharged by approximately P40/liter for diesel and P33/liter for gasoline in the past four years due to the ODL.
“We continue to call on the government to scrap the ODL and implement a system of oil price regulation to protect Filipinos from the greed of oil companies,” said Floranda.
The group has pointed out that House Bill 3006 or the Downstream Oil Industry Regulation Bill, filed by the Makabayan bloc in 2022, aims to repeal the ODL and establish a Petroleum Regulatory Council that will monitor and regulate oil prices in the country. However, the bill has been pending in Congress for more than a year now.
“Meanwhile, the Maharlika Fund, the Confidential Fund, and other policies that have become breeding grounds for government corruption are being pushed and certified as urgent by Marcos Jr while important social services for the welfare of the people are being pushed aside,” noted Floranda.
PISTON also calls for the immediate suspension of VAT and Excise Tax on petroleum products to immediately lower fuel prices.
“We will not cease our call until the ODL is scrapped, and the government takes measures to protect its citizens from the exorbitant oil prices,” said Floranda.