Monday, October 26, 2009

Roll back oil prices, House Speaker tells gas firms

MANILA, Philippines - Even with the recent consensus of the country's oil firms to heed with the directive of President Gloria Arroyo to restore their pump prices to the October 15 level of oil prices, Speaker Prospero Nograles said the rollback should take place immediately as he noted that the so-called Big 3 - Shell, Caltex and Petron - might try to use dilatory tactics to prolong the implementation of the president's order.

“It should just be a phone call away and the roll back can take effect immediately. However, the representatives of the so-called Big 3 are raising some concerns before their compliance to the president's directive. This, to me, is just a dilatory tactic,” Nograles said, as he lauded President Arroyo for her swift action to stop the oil firms from further punishing the millions of Filipinos who were devastated by typhoons.

“The last thing we want is another increase in oil products. Everybody is affected, especially those in the lower income groups,” Nograles said.

Nograles added that now is a most timely opportunity for these big companies to help alleviate the pains being suffered by Filipinos. “Anyway, when times are good, profits come flowing like water from springs,” Nograles noted.

The House leader also lauded the decision of Unioil on Sunday to cut diesel prices by P2/liter; gasoline by P1.25/liter; regular gasoline by P0.85/liter and kerosene by P1.50/liter.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo issued last Friday an Executive Order to keep pump prices at their October 15 levels. The other oil players have yet to announce if they will comply with the President’s directive and follow Unioil’s move.

Thinking aloud, the Speaker expressed concern why the Big 3 have not responded to the President's directive as quickly as Unioil.

“I would like to believe that they could be studying how much they can reduce their pump prices,” Nograles said, adding that “if Unioil can do it, why not the big players?” (With a report from Gil Bugaoisan)

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