Published: September 11, 2012
“Its findings lack a solid basis and its recommendations are illogical and anti-poor.”
This was multisectoral alliance Koalisyon ng Progresibong Manggagawa at Mamamayan’s statement today, after attending the Independent Oil Price Review Committee’s presentation of the results of its five-month research yesterday at the University of the Philippines.
KPMM said the IOPRC failed to take into account the big oil companies’ practice of “transfer-pricing,” in which they send profits to their mother companies abroad, as well as their financial records which it failed to open and probe.
“After five months, the IOPRC has failed to complete a thorogh study of the actual workings of the oil industry. Its conclusion, that local oil companies are not carrying out overpricing, is therefore incorrect, misleading and anti-poor,” said Sammy Malunes, KPMM spokesperson.
“It is ironic that the committee is praising the Oil Deregulation Law, which prevented it from gathering data relevant to its research,” he added.
“The IOPRC set out to gather the views of various stakeholders on the issue of oil price hikes but it seems that it only listened to the big oil companies,” he said.
The multisectoral alliance also slammed the committee’s recommendation to deregulate the fares of public transportation in response to increases in the prices of petroleum products.
“There are other people, apart from drivers of public utility vehicles, whose products and services are affected by oil prices. What about farmers using hand tractors and irrigation pumps? Fisherfolks who use motors for their boats? Sea transportation? Travelers selling their products? Manufacturers who are dependent on oil?” Malunes asked.
“In trying to justify the Big 3’s immense profiteering, the IOPRC is ignoring the logical consequences of its anti-poor recommendations. It is trying to obscure the immense anti-poor implications of thorough deregulation,” he added.
“The IOPRC has become a special spokesperson of the Big 3 oil companies, hired by the Aquino government because the latter has failed to speak with credibility on the issue,” he said.