Group slams new round of oil price hikes

WORKERS-peasant group joined various progressive groups in denouncing the new round of oil price hikes in a picket-protest today.

Anakpawis party-list issued the statement as oil companies announced new hikes in the prices of regular and premium gasoline, diesel and kerosene yesterday.

Pilipinas Shell, Petron, Total Philippines and Seaoil Philippines have increased prices of premium gasoline by P1.80 a liter, regular gasoline by P1.65 a liter, kerosene by P1.30 a liter and of diesel by P1 to P1.20 per liter. “It took only the past three (3) weeks of heavy oil price increases to reverse almost three (3) months of stingy price rollbacks,” said Fernando Hicap, Anakpawis vice-chairperson.

Oil prices decreased a dozen times since April but the trend was broken by a spike in oil prices this July.

“Hikes happen while the President brags about his so-called accomplishments for the country. Recent increases in water and power rates and oil prices obviously distress the average Filipino, and make his flagship cash dole-out program appear like the sick joke that it truly is.”

Anakpawis earlier urged Malacanang to stop the 89-centavo increase in water rates days before President Aquino’s State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Aquino made no mention of the people’s daily woes with price increases, and instead glorified his Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program for indigent families.  With the usual justification of an upward trend in international prices, the Department of Energy says that more hikes in oil prices loom in the next weeks.

“Aquino and his Malacanang team must stop making lame excuses, acting like sales reps of oil companies and skirting around these issues like brats. Instead of ignoring and bellitling the protests, President Aquino must just properly address the people’s demands,” said Hicap.

In Congress, Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano has consistently pushed for the repeal of the Oil Deregulation Law. Progressive lawmakers also proposed the reduction, removal or suspension of VAT on oil products as an immediate government response to lower oil products.

“Palliative solutions like the CCT program incur heavy debts for the country and are blatantly anomalous to begin with. We condemn these price hikes while we continue to fight for the establishment of a state-run and regulated national oil and energy industry that will provide lasting benefit to the country in the long-run,” said Hicap.


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