World crude plunges to $61/barrel: When should we expect a rollback?

The Inquirer’s banner story today should be a pleasant surprise to many: Oil plunges to $61/barrel.

Local oil prices are said to be based largely on world crude prices. Now that global prices have drastically gone down due to concerns of an economic recession, we have every reason to expect huge reductions in pump prices.

The drive to compelling the cartel to lower their prices is usually difficult. They give all sorts of excuses and legal hocus-pocus to delay as long as possible any rollback, or make rollbacks as miniscule as possible. This is in sharp contrast to their quick and rapid fire announcements of increases whenever there are so spikes in world crude prices. Unfortunately for us, our government usually sides with and defends the oil cartel.

This is over and above the alleged overpricing of petroleum products here in the Philippines. The big oil companies get away with such overpricing practices by invoking the deregulation policy and is made even worse by the lack of government monitoring on whether oil products are correctly priced even with a considerable profit margin for the companies.

The independent Ibon thinktank reports that the overpricing amounts to P6.45 per liter, and this was prior to the world oil price plunge.

Photo courtesy of Arkibong Bayan.