Manila, Philippines – Anakpawis Party-list Representative Ariel “Ka Ayik” Casilao slammed the apparent neglect of President Rodrigo Duterte on the incessant oil price hikes and warned that it would lead to worsen economic crisis, majorly affecting poor sectors in the country. Since mid-August to date, oil companies hiked prices of their petroleum products for the 5th time.
“President Duterte is effectively making the rich oligarchs in the oil monopoly ecstatic with his obvious inattention as his neo-liberal government has no plan of repealing the Oil Deregulation Law,” Casilao said in a statement.
News reports said that from January to August, gas prices hiked a total of P6.60 and rolled backed with P5.95 per liter, resulting to a P0.65 net hike, while diesel hiked P7.20 and rolled back with P6.50, resulting net P0.70 per liter. Adding the increases since August of P1.7 for gas prices, it reached toa net P2.35 per liter, while diesel with P2.20, with a net of P2.90 per liter.
But basing on the Department of Energy Price Watch, year-to-year hike of lowest prices from August 2016 to August 2017, posted P2.25 per liter for gas, and P4.10 per liter for diesel.
“The president, aside from his outright callousness, seems gullible to his economic managers, when inflation rates under his administration are actually swelling since last year,” Casilao said.
Government data that from July 2016, inflation rates posted with 1.9%, but on July this year it was 2.8%, while August last year at 1.8% but on this year was at 3.1%. The 3.4% rates this March and April were also the highest since 2015.
“With prices of goods and services being jacked up, and we blame it partly on the non-stop oil price hikes, the poor is obviously bearing the brunt, but the president is pre-occupied with his botched ‘war on drugs’ and all-out war against the people,” Casilao said.
The lawmaker claimed that he is beyond challenging the president to carry out reforms for the people’s welfare as he wasted his opportunity to do so, instead, urging people’s sectors to directly protest government policies and programs. He attributed the oil price hikes on the continued implementation of the Republic Act No. 8479 or Oil Deregulation Law.
“The president has unfolded and he decided to protect the status quo and protect the interest of the elite rich few, big oil companies and oligarchs, at this point, the task is on the people to effect real changes in the country,” Casilao ended. ###