Fight the rapacity of giant monopoly capitalist oil companies

This article is available in Pilipino

The nonstop sharp increases in the prices of diesel, gasoline and other petroleum products over the past two months are manifestations of the rapacity of the giant monopoly capitalist oil companies. These companies and their foreign monopoly capitalist partners are raking in billions and billions of pesos in superprofits at the expense of the Filipino people.

In the first half of the year, the biggest giant oil companies made gargantuan profits. Petron Corporation, owned by big bourgeois comprador Ramon Ang, recorded a net income of ₱3.87 billion. It resumed its refining operations in Bataan last July, making them the sole refiner of crude oil in the country. Likewise, Shell Pilipinas, a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell, posted a ₱2.2 billion net income for the first half of the year.

The net income of Phoenix Company, owned by Duterte crony Dennis Uy, increased from ₱121 million in the first quarter of the year, to ₱132 million in the second quarter. The company recently acquired the Malampaya gas operations buying off the shares of Shell and Chevron for ₱1,025 billion. Caltex Philippines, a local subsidiary of Chevron Company, continued to expand its operations opening 14 new gasoline stations since the start of 2021.

The wealth being accumulated by these oil companies serve to feed the conspicuous consumption and lavish lifestyle of their elite executives. They pocket superprofits without breaking a sweat, merely watching the money trickle in from the comfort of their airconditioned board rooms. They enjoy high living while the broad masses of the Filipino people suffer from low wages, joblessness and loss of income. While the oil elite swim in luxury, workers, peasants and the toiling people wallow in poverty and hunger and suffer the oppressive burden of skyrocketing prices of fuel, food and other basic commodities.

The giant oil companies are favored by the Philippine reactionary government. Their right to unmitigated accumulation of profit is institutionalized by the oil deregulation law which allows them to increase prices without state oversight or control. Through excessive tax impositions on oil prices, Duterte is equally responsible for the burden of high costs of fuel. These taxes feed large-scale corruption of the bureaucrat capitalists and cronies of the Duterte regime.

Various proposals for subsidizing oil prices will only shift and spread the burden of oppressive prices from the immediate consumers of petroleum products to the tax-payers in general. In essence, these are state subsidies to ensure the superprofits of oil companies.

The only acceptable and immediate solution to the problem of high prices of diesel, gasoline and other fuel products is for the oil companies to rollback their prices. A reduction in oil prices, even a substantial rollback, will not kill these oil companies. However, this is something that they will not do voluntarily as they are driven by no other motive but accumulating more and more profits. Despite exercising tyrannical powers against the people, Duterte will neither use his powers to compel his compadre Ramon Ang and his ilk to mitigate their greed.

Only the Filipino people possess the power to compel the oil companies to roll back their prices. They must muster their collective strength and manifest their outrage against the oil profiteers who make wealth at their expense and against the bureaucrat capitalists who line up their pockets with taxes paid for every liter of fuel bought.

The people must direct their protests to expose, denounce and fight the greed of these oil companies and bureaucrat capitalists, and demand a rollback in oil prices and removal of excessive taxes.

Fight the rapacity of giant monopoly capitalist oil companies