By Atty. Alexander H. Lim
I have to admit that I was enormously annoyed by people who would blame the President for the rising cost of fuel in the country.
Let’s be factual here. This is not the time to entertain propaganda deployed by left-leaning groups in order to scuttle people’s trust in government. It doesn’t matter who the President is. I just find it unfair, illogical, preposterous for people to blame the President whenever the price of gasoline soars high.
My reaction came after Bayan Muna Party-list Representative Teddy Casi?o said in a media interview that the rising cost of fuel would be the downfall of Pres. Aquino.
Some people are simply misinformed, and in their blatant ignorance, they sow seeds of lies and confusion, notwithstanding the possibility of being rebutted by the informed and educated.
So, what determines the price of fuel? Is it the President of a country? If that is so, why is Barack Obama, President of the world’s most powerful nation, helpless in addressing the price of fuel?
The price of fuel is more than an issue of supply and demand. It would take an entire book length to explain all the factors that affect the price of oil/fuel. For the sake of discussion, let me explain it in brevity.
It is a basic principle in economics that when demand goes up, price goes up, too, and if demand goes down, price goes down as well.
But this is not always true in determining the price of fuel. The world has been held hostage by oil-producing countries so much that even if demand of fuel goes down, it will not necessarily translate into lower prices because monopoly is at work here, and people have no other choices but to consume fuel no matter how much its cost.
Three countries – China, India, and Brazil – with a combined population of 2.7 billion, can influence the price of fuel worldwide. If demand of fuel in these three countries goes up, it will affect the global supply. Just imagine if more Chinese and Indians would buy cars and the volume of gasoline required to power these cars. On the other hand, the US alone consumes half of the world’s total fuel consumption. Combine the four countries’s fuel consumption, you will have an idea of how these countries can greatly affect the global chain of fuel supply.
Meanwhile, the world is at the mercy of oil-producing countries as they can control how much oil they want to produce regardless of what the demand is. On the other hand, political chaos in these oil-producing countries will certainly disrupt the supply chain.
That’s why even the most powerful country, America, is helpless over the issue of rising fuel cost because the US is not an oil producer but a consumer like the Philippines.
Regardless who sits in the White House or in Malacanang, a President has no influence over demand and supply of oil and he/she cannot control fuel price. Senators, congressmen, governors, mayors, name them all, they are as powerless as you and I over the price of fuel.
That’s why it came to me first as a shock then as foolishness when people like Bayan Muna Rep. Casino would issue a careless statement to the public, born out of ignorance and pure political bias, blaming President Aquino over the rising cost of fuel.
We should not be deceived by propagandas.