Militant group Anakbayan on Saturday demanded a “big-time rollback” of oil prices from top three firms in the country, citing reports that the global crude oil prices dropped to a historic low at $27 a barrel.
Vencer Crisostomo, chairman of Anakbayan, said the oil firms are making a killing by extracting profits from motorists and the riding public, with local oil prices not following the global downtrend.
Comparing the change in prices of crude oil and local pump prices from August 2014 to January 2016, according to Anakbayan, will show that while oil prices in the world market have dropped by 72.16 percent, local pump prices declined by around 56 percent for diesel and 36 percent for gasoline.
Citing the data reported by the Department of Energy, the youth group said the price of diesel decreased from P41 to P18 while the price of gasoline decreased from P50 to P32 between August 2014 and January 2016.
It added the world price of crude oil is now in its 19th month of plunging down because of unabated oversupply and concerns over China’s cooling economy.
Crisostomo praised jeepney drivers and operators for showing concern to the public by initiating the rollback of jeepney fare from P7.50 to P7 due to the low oil prices.
But he lambasted the big oil companies which, he said, are only concerned about profits. “They are slow to rollback and only do so in trickles but quick to hike oil prices,” he said.
Based on its World Oil Prices monitoring (Jan. 11-15 trading days) report, the Energy Department said crude prices were on steady downtrend over the week, reaching an average decline of around US$4 a barrel.
The agency also said Asian Dubai posted Monday at US$28/bbl down to US$25/bbl as the week ends. Likewise, Brent and WTI dropped this week by about 10 percent, reaching its 12-year low level of US$30/bbl.
“Persistent oversupply that battered oil prices since mid of last year remained the main reason behind the price slump. The drop was later heightened by fresh concerns about China’s economic health that provided worries over demand for the world crude oil,” the DoE said.