|Danny Arao online|
Big Three to
The planned Metro-wide transport strike tomorrow (May 27) should serve as a wake-up call for oil companies that Filipinos will not take the issue sitting down.
Pilipinas Shell increased pump prices by three centavos per liter last May 21, and then by 57 centavos per liter two days after (May 23). Market leader Petron, for its part, implemented a 51-centavo per liter oil price hike on May 25. Caltex has yet to follow suit as its latest oil price hike happened on May 11, when it increased pump prices by 17 centavos per liter.
IBON computations show that the Big Three gets additional combined earnings of P29.6 million daily from the staggered oil price hike since May 11. Computed on an hourly basis, this means that Petron, Shell and Caltex post combined earnings of about P1.2 million PER HOUR!
This computation is based on the projected petroleum consumption of 65 million liters everyday for 1999 and the Big Threes respective market shares.
Petron enjoys a 40% market share, while Shell and Caltex have 34% and 23% market share, respectively. Other industry players only have a 3% market share.
In the recent past, IBON maintains that there is no basis for any oil price hike despite the current increase in world crude prices.
For one, no less than the Department of Energy (DOE) admits that the crude stock of oil firms were bought at prices lower than the current world crude levels. This is a major reason why government has recently asked oil firms to open their books.
Even concerned legislators argued that the oil firms decision to increase pump prices is the "height of callousness," given that they posted net profits amounting to P6.4 billion in 1998, a big turnaround from the previous years reported losses of P4.5 billion.
An oil price hike would also be tantamount to tolerating the overpricing of oil firms in 1998. IBON computations show that for the whole year of 1998, oil companies overpriced their products by P1.7 billion, or roughly P200,000 per hour.
Combined Additional Earnings of
Petron, Shell and Caltex
IBON Computation based on DOE data
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