Oil firms dare Piston to roll back jeepney fares

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NOW that oil firms implemented a ‘big-time’ rollback in prices of petroleum products, it is high time also for public transport groups to lower fares, according to industry players.

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Fernando Martinez, president of independent oil player Eastern Petroleum, on Monday said the rollback in prices of diesel is enough to warrant a fare reduction.

He suggested that minimum fares in passenger jeepneys, which primarily use diesel, be reduced by 5 percent.

“The 30 percent reduction [in oil prices]from its level a year ago is more than enough to warrant price rollback of at least 5 percent of existing fare structure,” Martinez said.

Currently, the minimum fare for passenger jeepney is P8.50.

Martinez issued the call after transport group Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Opereytors Nationwide (Piston) expressed discontentment on the ‘big-time’ rollback imposed by the oil firms.

Oil companies on Sunday slashed prices of gasoline by P2.50 per liter, diesel by P2.25 per liter and kerosene by P2.25 per liter.

But Piston national president George San Mateo said oil firms should roll back prices by at least P4 to P5 per liter for gasoline and P3 to P4 per liter for diesel.

He noted that since June 2014, at least 38 to 40 percent have been slashed from world crude prices.

But local pump prices, San Mateo said, oil firms just lowered gasoline prices by 20 percent and 25 percent for diesel prices.

He pointed out that the average P2.50 per liter rollback imposed by the oil firms is not enough considering the continued plummeting of crude prices in international market.

“That is why we are asking for a truly big-time rollback,” San Mateo said.

Raymund Zorilla, Phoenix Petroleum vice president for external affairs and business development, said the weekly price adjustments imposed by the oil companies are reflected by crude prices in the world market.

“We have truthfully reflected prices on a week-to-week basis, which has been consistent with industry practice,” he added.

San Mateo explained that the recent rollback was a consequence of a $ 7 price drop and a strong peso.

Another industry source, who requested anonymity, challenged Piston to come up with its own computation.

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