Marco Valbuena | Chief Information Officer | Communist Party of the Philippines
June 14, 2022
Denounce the latest round of oil price increases which adds further to the gross sufferings of Filipino workers and toiling people. Gasoline and diesel prices are now almost ₱100 per liter, almost twice the prices at the start of the year, pushing up the cost of transportation, food, medicine and other commodities, and pushing down the people’s income, purchasing power and standards of living.
We must expose the false claims that high oil prices are unavoidable and come as a result of the war in Ukraine. In fact, there is no shortage in oil supplies, nor in the capacity of oil refiners to produce petroleum products. We must expose the real culprits behind this large-scale swindle against the people!
We must expose the imperialist banks and big finance such as JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs for artificially pushing up oil prices. They are raking in billions of dollars by trading in oil futures and raising prices through speculation. Since 2019, they have been pushing markets to trade crude at $150 per barrel, something that they aim to achieve in the next few months. Crude oil now stands at around $125 per barrel as a result of incessant speculation.
While hundreds of millions of people around the world suffer from rising prices, big oil companies are making huge profits from rising prices. The first quarter (2022) profits of Shell, ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron and ConocoPhillips (among the world’s biggest oil companies) ballooned to $35 billion — 300% higher compared to last year’s same period.
Big Chinese oil companies are also making huge profits from the spiraling prices of petroleum products. China Petroleum and Chemical Corp., the biggest oil refiner in Asia, saw its net income surge by 25% during the first quarter of this year. Chinese oil refiners are among the biggest source of petroleum supply imported by local oil distributors in the Philippines.
Philippine oil companies are also making huge profits out of the people’s miseries. Petron Corporation made a ₱3.6 billion net income in the first quarter of 2022, twice more than last year, while Pilipinas Shell made ₱3.5 billion.
The Philippine government, particularly the Department of Energy, continues to prove itself a big failure amid skyrocketing prices, merely justifying the price increases with false reasoning, satisfied with being a mouthpiece of oil monopoly capitalist speculators. Earning around ₱150 billion from rising petroleum prices, the Philippine government stubbornly refuses to remove excise taxes, causing prices to rise further.
The Filipino people must show their outrage against the insatiable imperialist oil speculators and oil companies, their local subsidiaries and the Philippine government for making huge amounts of profits to the detriment of the workers and toiling masses. The progressive and anti-imperialist forces must untiringly carry out education and organizing work to expose and denounce the profit-hungry oil companies, and wage mass struggles to defend the people against imperialist oppression.#