STATEMENT ON THE RECENT
OIL PRICE HIKES
The PISTON Metro-Baguio
Chapter and the transport sector strongly denounce the latest announcement
of the Oil Cartel to impose one time increase in the pump price
of their products instead of the weekly increases which is now more
than 20 times since January this year. The Oil Cartel is speculating
of what they claim to be under recovery brought about by the high
price of oil in the world market, as well as the weak peso. The
question is, under recovery of what? Shortage of profit!
In the same manner, PISTON denounces the Arroyo
Government for consenting to the greed of the Oil Cartel. Department
of Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes is himself speaking for their behalf
by defending the proposed one time increase by saying that it would
teach the Filipino People how to conserve energy. What a foolish
thinking! Only shows how insensitive they are to the plight of the
The one time increase in the pump prices of diesel and gasoline
would bring the prices to P70.40 and P80.00 or more respectively.
If this happen, one can imagine how much would the
government gain from the Value Added Tax at the expense of the transport
sector and the end consumers. It would be another windfall collection
by this government, which Gloria would proudly dole out a little
fraction of it in terms of what she calls subsidies and assistance
to the poor.
Meanwhile, PISTON commends the Catholic Bishops
Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) for calling the government
to review all anti-poor policies such as the Oil Deregulation Law
(ODL) and the Expanded Value Added Tax (EVAT), and denouncing the
Arroyo Government's policy of giving dole outs. The Dole out policy
is unproductive and only reinforces the dependency on the part of
the few who can avail of it. It is just another channel of corruption.
On the issue of fare increase, PISTON welcomes such
move from the LTFRB to act upon it immediately. In consonance, the
workers wages should also be increased. The PUV drivers have long
waited for such fare increase, and so with the wage earners longing
for the P125 daily minimum wage increase in order to cope up with
the rising cost of living.
Why only now? Is it because the clamor for the scrapping of EVAT
and ODL is gaining ground?
PISTON calls on all sectors to unite for the immediate
Scrapping of the Oil Deregulation Law and the regressive Expanded
Value Added Tax. These are the most doable thing the government
can do if it really stands for the interest of the Filipino Masses.
The scrapping of EVAT on oil and power will translate
to the 12% rollback of the prices of diesel, gasoline, LPG and other
oil products and by products. The same is true with the electricity
bill of each household. And since Oil and Power are the lifeblood
of the economy, it will eventually result to the lower cost of other
We encourage every concerned citizen to join the
protest actions, especially on the upcoming State of the Nation
Address (SONA) of the President on July 28, 2008. #