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July 9, 2008

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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 suffering masses.
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 basic commodities.

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. #

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