Acclimatization, Resistance, and the Philippine Downstream Oil Industry


This essay analyzes the popular culture of acclimatization and resistance in the Philippine downstream oil industry as a result of the latter’s deregulation. An objective of deregulation is to acclimatize consumers to frequent price changes mainly due to fluctuations in world crude prices and the peso-dollar exchange rate. Since the start of deregulation in 1996, the mainstream media have played a significant role in promoting a culture of acclimatization but this was not through an objective assessment of the impact of downstream oil deregulation and the analysis of arguments for and against deregulation. Instead, the mainstream media generally assumed the irreversibility of downstream oil deregulation as may be gleaned from interviews, documents reviews, and selected photographs analyzed in this study. The culture of resistance, on the other hand, is promoted by those opposed to deregulation. There are calls to nationalize the downstream oil industry and interest groups have resorted to creative ways to get their message across.