Oil companies hit over price hike amid calamity-A A +A
Thursday, August 9, 2012
A MEMBER of Congress slammed Thursday oil companies for raising their pump prices early this week while residents of Metro Manila and nearby provinces battle deadly floods spawned by monsoon rains.
Isabela Representative Rodolfo Albano said the ill-timed decision of raising oil prices only exposed the oil companies' main concern, which is money-making.
"It's the height of insensitivity of these oil companies to continue with their decision to hike oil prices while our countrymen in flood-hit areas were struggling to save their lives and the lives of their loved ones," he said in a press statement.
Major players Pilipinas Shell Petroleum and Petron Corporation, and independent player Total Philippines raised prices of regular and premium gasoline by 80 centavos per liter.
They also raised prices of diesel and kerosene by 40 centavos and 30 centavos per liter, respectively.
"Instead of contributing to the rescue or relief operations, these oil companies went on to implement another oil price hike which only aggravates the agony of the public. They should have reconsidered their oil price hike decision because of the calamity," said Albano, former chairman of the Energy Regulatory Commission.
Albano said while the Oil Deregulation Law prohibits government from intervening or influencing the pricing schemes of the oil companies, the Department of Energy should at least convince these firms to hold off or reconsider any decision to raise their oil prices because of the recent calamity.
Pilipinas Shell and Phoenix Petroluem, meanwhile, have announced that it will freeze fuel price hikes next week in areas affected by heavy flooding. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)