Labor group questions oil price hikes amid COVID-19 pandemic
Leaders of the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) condemned the recent ‘big time oil price hike’ implemented by oil firms across the board.
According to the militant labor group, the series of oil price hikes, which began in April, is a clear sign that “the country is in deep recession” and that the government is treating the issue “as if this is normal and Filipinos are not affected.”
The latest oil price hike, implemented yesterday, saw the per-liter price of gasoline go up by PHP0.65 per liter, kerosene by PHP0.40 and diesel by PHP0.30.
“Back in 1995, kahit PHP0.10 oil price increase pa lang, takot na ang gobyerno dahil alam nito ang epekto at galit ng mamamayan,” said Jerome Adonis, Secretary General of KMU. “Ngayon kibit-balikat na lang ang gobyerno na parang normal at walang epekto sa taumbayan,”
“The reality is that we are in the middle of an economic crisis because of this pandemic, yet oil companies rushing to increase prices to retrieve massive lost profit in the last 3 months or so, is clearly a manifestation we are deep into a recession” Adonis added.
KMU claimed that it is representing the sentiment of the transport sector as a whole, many of which will be deeply affected by the fuel price hike. Every transport stakeholder is affected, the group said, from debt-burdened jeepney drivers to employees who “have to endure the deplorable transportation crisis being experienced across Metro Manila and major urban centers in the country.”
“Wala na ngang kita ang mga drayber, tataasan pa ang presyo ng gasoline. Wala nang kikitaing sahod ang mga manggagawa, wala pang maayos na transportasyon,” Adonis assailed.
“Nasa gitna na nga tayo ng pandemya at krisis sa ekonomya, dagdag pang babalikatin ito ng mga drayber at manggagawa. Gastos sa pagkain, gastos sa gamot, gastos sa transportasyon. Patung-patong na ang paghihirap ng mamamayan.”
KMU also chastised the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for their supposed lack of a masterplan in helping stranded commuters daily since the easing of lockdown protocols in many parts of the country.
“The government is very short-sighted. Wala nang masasakyan ang mga manggagawa at komyuter, tataasan pa ang presyo ng gasolina, palpak pa ang mga e-jeeps na pinangalandakan ng DOTr,” a seething Adonis quipped.
“Tila baga’y pinaninindigan talaga nila ang mga salita ni Digong na ‘bahala na kayo sa mga buhay niyo.’”
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) prioritized the resumption of operations of modern public utility jeepneys (PUJs) over traditional ones, as part of the agency's Phase 2 plans for public transportation under general community quarantine (GCQ).
Photo/s from KMU Facebook page