Imperialist oil companies are raking in profits
While majority of the Filipinos are drowning in poverty caused by skyrocketing prices of petroleum products, big imperialist banks and finance agencies and big oil companies are floating in profits from oil. The past weeks, the prices of gasoline are almost ₱100 per liter, double its price at the beginning of the year.
Imperialists are vigorously pushing oil prices up through market speculation, so-called oil futures, or contracts for buying future stocks of oil. This is being promoted by big banks like JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs and other hedge funds and investment houses which pour funds to the market and make periodical price increase announcements to influence market prices.
Despite the war in Ukraine, there is no shortage in oil supply or in crude oil refining capacity. Oil companies are raising prices not to cover cost but to increase company profits.
The first quarter (2022) net income of Shell, ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron and ConocoPhillips (among the world’s biggest oil companies) ballooned by 300% to $35 billion. China Petroleum and Chemical Corp., the biggest oil refiner in Asia and among the biggest source of petroleum imports by local oil distributors in the Philippines, saw its net income surge by 25%.
Philippine oil companies are also making huge profits. Petron Corporation’s net income for the first quarter of 2022 soared to ₱3.6 billion, twice more than last year, while Pilipinas Shell made ₱3.5 billion, 3.5 times than last year.
Meanwhile, apart from justifying price increases with false reasoning, the Duterte government stubbornly refuses to remove excise taxes imposed on oil products as it expects it to generate around ₱150 billion this year.
Rollback oil prices!
Jeepney drivers led by Piston protested in front of Petron gasoline stations in Quezon City and Valenzuela City last June 7 and 14 to condemn yet another series of oil price increases. Oil prices have increased five times since the last week of May. This has pushed gasoline prices up to ₱100 per liter in some places.