The Real Victim of Price Freeze

October 30th, 20091:18 pm @ elmot

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The Real Victim of Price Freeze




The Oil Price freeze issued by President Arroyo as an Executive Order No. 839 days ago, in light of the prodding of the public and transport groups due to the island of Luzon subjected to a state of calamity though laudable is posing more problems than giving a cure.

Though oil companies have followed the EO and fixed their petroleum products to its October 15 levels, they have given serious threats and scenarios to the government as implications of the presidential order.

Oil companies are saying that though they followed the price freeze, they will get back to regain their revenue losses once the state of calamity for Luzon is lifted.  For now, they have cancelled most of their importations for next month that they say will result to a supply shortage of petroleum products.  By this, rationing of oil products from gas stations will certainly become a usual picture for commuters.  Certainly a bad sight to behold for everyday motorists.  Thus, in the end of all of these, they say that the public is still the eventual victim that the government is trying to protect by issuing the EO.

At this, the government still stood firm on its feet asking these major players to feel for the agony of the Filipinos who experienced onslaught of recent calamities and follow the order, lest the government will use all of its legal capacities to protect the public.  Ultimately, taking over these companies was brought up and placed on the table.

In lieu of this new struggle between the survival of business entities to freely do their workings and the government’s intervention in behalf of public interest, it will not only be a legal battle that they will contest and the economic effects that they will have both to reckon with .  What is more prominently being displayed in this serious situation is the lack of trust to both institutions.

Since the implementation of the Oil Deregulation Law, oil companies have been seen by the public and consumer watch groups as taking undue advantage on pricing and profiteering on petroleum products.  The public has mostly resented the fact that these colossal business entities has been earning billions in revenues annually by being quick to rise their prices and so slow if not totally forgetful of rolling back prices to its just pricing.

While the government especially the Department of Energy has always been giving these oil companies their field day rationalizing their inefficiency if not blatant defense of the major players to the deregulated status of this industry; they have recently been so strong as to the implementation of EO 839 that raised some eyebrows.

People and pundits cannot easily dismiss the idea that with election coming nearer and the President is trying to hold on tight to her position due to many cases waiting to jump up on her like hungry lions, this EO may also have some hidden agenda tucked silently on its letters.

When the Palace has recently said that taking over these companies is one possibility in order to ensure the full implementation of the order, the bell rang for those who are guarding the moves of the executive with the fact the state of calamity may not yet soon be stripped off.

Though these were only opinions from many street corners and known figures who make a living out of doing commentaries, what it brings up is the fact that there is a mutual distrust between the two and a great distrust on the two from public opinions.

Oil companies could not simply be trusted when Agnes Devanadera threatened that she will open their books and they have been earning big profits already by not declaring the real prices on oil products giving them no reason to say that they will be on the red.  And business groups and agencies are appalled by the thought of the government trying to intervene on business entities and threatening for a takeover.

Trust.  It has become a rare trait that could not nowadays be easily given to public and private institutions by the people who feel the miseries and hardships caused by policies and governance and dynamics of politics and economics.  It is not anymore seasonal distrust for circumstantial distrust that is being seen in people towards the President but a total distrust since the beginning and will ultimately end as one of the most distrusted if not the most distrusted President of the nation.  It has become more difficult for the common people to trust companies when they say that they have been on the red light for so long a time when they are enjoying the lavish lifestyles being showered by their companies.

What is most difficult is after all these struggles between the two giants, the people will end up to be the eventual resenting victim than being saved from the peril of greed, profiteering and insensitive business practices.

We cannot therefore blame them if they cannot easily trust these people, institutions and machinations.  For the people usually ends up to be the real victim.  Prey do not trust their predators.

Image by Freaking News

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