Workers in the Philippine capital staged a demonstration on Tuesday, July 13, to protest what they described as the “continually rising oil prices.”
The leftist Kilusang Mayo Uno slammed the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte for reportedly failing to act on the rising prices.
The group said the continued implementation of the Oil Deregulation Law has proven to be a burden not just to transport workers, but to the Filipino people in general.
According to the group, price hikes were experienced in petroleum products since January 6 this year.
Prices has since rose by Php5.70/liter for diesel, Php4.61/liter for regular gasoline, Php4.27/liter for unleaded gasoline, and Php5.01/liter for kerosene.
Jerome Adonis, secretary general of the labor group, said that aside from junking the Oil Deregulation Law, a National Minimum Wage must also be passed into law to raise the living standard of workers.
A report on Bulatlat news site said the price increase this week will be the 22nd time this year.
Gasoline will also increase by Php1.15 per liter, the 23rd price hike this year. Similarly, the price of kerosene will go up for the 19th time, with an upward adjustment of Php0.65 per liter this week.
With these latest adjustments, the total price hike for diesel this year is now at Php10.60 per liter; for gasoline, Php13.50 per liter; and kerosene, Php9.00 per liter.
Due to automatic price adjustments under the Oil Deregulation Law, oil firms are able to hide price hikes that go beyond the changes in the global price benchmark that they supposedly base their local price adjustments on, said Bulatlat’s report.
As of July 6 price adjustments, the price of diesel-based on movements in the Mean of Platts Singapore (MOPS) as well as the fluctuations in the US dollar and PH peso exchange rates (because oil products are imported) should have only increased by Php7.92 per liter.
But the actual price hikes implemented by the oil companies reached Php10.00 per liter as of July 6 – or Php2.08 per liter higher than what is “allowed” based on movements in global prices and exchange rates.
MOPS is the international reference in determining adjustments in the pump price of petroleum products in the Philippines, according to the Department of Energy.
Similarly, during the same period, oil companies jacked up the pump price of gasoline by Php12.35 per liter when changes in MOPS prices and exchange rates only justify a price increase of Php9.99 per liter – or a difference of Php2.36 per liter.