January 30, 2012
Trillanes urges Congress to pass oil profit cap bill
In the midst of the ongoing impeachment trial at the Senate, Senator Antonio "Sonny" F. Trillanes IV has reiterated his call for his colleagues in the Senate and the House of Representatives to immediately pass a bill setting the allowable level of profit for petroleum companies and imposing windfall profit tax on oil firms.
"With the oil prices continuously increasing almost on a weekly basis, the government is virtually helpless in checking the apparent abuses of petroleum industry players in increasing and in refusing to decrease prices of petroleum products even when warranted by market forces. This is aggravated by the lack of transparency in the formula used by petroleum companies in order to arrive at their prices," Trillanes said.
Trillanes' reiteration comes at the heels of the call by Department of Energy Secretary Jose Almendras for Congress to pass a price control law setting the acceptable level of profits for companies in the oil industry. Almendras issued the call in the light of accusations from leaders of the transport industry accusing oil companies of taking advantage of the tense situation in the Middle East to rake in excessive profits.
Senate Bill 2529, which was proposed by Trillanes, aims to set the permissible level of profits by oil companies to no more than 12 percent of their paid-up capital per year. Revenues exceeding this would be slapped with windfall tax at rates depending on the excess profit.
"The imposition of such is a mode of recouping the excess profits of these companies at the expense of the public and redistributing the said excess profits to the public in the form of public services," Trillanes explained.
Trillanes added: "This matter is as important to our people as the ongoing impeachment trial so I hope both houses of Congress will find the time to immediately act on it. I believe that this measure will moderate the greed of petroleum companies and provide much-needed relief to our overburdened citizens."
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