Sunday, March 06, 2005

NR0306:Govt should rescind contracts in oil industry

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release March 6, 2005
Cellphone number 09213907362

Buying back Govt shares in Petron a welcome move; Malacanang should rescind contracts with foreign investors in oil industry and junk oil deregulation - Rep. Beltran

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran expressed strong agreement with Senate President Franklin Drilon's suggestion that the national government buy-back majority shares in Petron, saying this move should be the first in a series of reforms in the oil industry that will put an end to the greedy price manipulation of the oil cartel, while encouraging the nationalization of the country's oil resources.

"The Philippine government should not be afraid to rescind its contracts with foreign investors if it means defending the welfare of the Filipino people against the escalating prices of oil and consequently, that of basic goods and rates of crucial social services," he said. "The government should not hesitate to institute reforms in order to fully protect the people, even if such an action is contrary to the interest of the powerful and influential transnational oil corporations."

Beltran said that reports regarding the global pricing of oil continues to worsen, as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) says that prices of crude oil could rise to as high as $80 a barrel within the next two years.

World oil prices were mixed on Thursday after reaching four-month highs in New York and London the previous day amid a rise in UScrude stocks and jitters over increased global demand. The crude oil closed in New York at just over $53.05 a barrel for the second day, the highest closing level since Oct. 26. In London, the price of Brent North Sea crude oil for delivery in April rose $0.08 to $51.30 a barrel on Thursday, after earlier reaching a new four-month high of $51.50.

"If world oil prices continue to increase, shouldn't the Philippine government be making contingency plans and creating buffer measures to protect the local industry and ensure that consumers are not crucified by the high prices? We can't and shouldn't wait for OPEC to push through with its plans to spike oil price to $80 per barrel. That would be suicide."

"Sec. Vince Perez' logic that buying back Petron will not make a difference because world prices of oil will continue to go up is defeatist and is treasonous. It's the duty of the government to defend the local economy and protect consumers by securing all local oil resources and removing them from the control of foreign investors. Buying Petron is only the first step. Government should also stop the sale of Malampaya and the privatization of other oil reserves being discovered in the country," he said.

The veteran labor leader said that the national government should hold full control over the oil industry and repeal the oil deregulation law. "Because of deregulation, there are more players in the oil industry with similar interest to totally control all phases of the downstream oil industry, from the business of importing, exporting, re-exporting, shipping, transporting, processing, refining, storing, and distributing to marketing crude oil and petroleum products. They're all in the industry obviously to make a profit, and this inevitably is at the expense of consumers. The high cost of gasoline and petroleum products in the market can also be attributed to the government. The oil industry is the most heavily taxed sector of the economy. More than fifty percent (50%) of the prices of oil in the country is made up of taxes," he said.#


Post a Comment

<< Home