Manila, Philippines – As members of Anakpawis Party-list chapters in Quezon City and Caloocan commenced with their serial protests dubbed as “palengke protests” (at public markets) against the implementation of the Republic Act No. 10963 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) in Caloocan City, Anakpawis Party-list Representative Ariel “Ka Ayik” Casilao reiterated his stand that it will obviously hit the poor or marginalized sectors, putting them to a worsening and disadavantaged soci-economic status.
“The president claimed that the TRAIN law is a christmas gift to the people, but triggering the continued oil price hikes and its domino-effect on the basic goods, it is insane to believe that it is [a christmas gift],” Casilao said in a statement.
He noted that the petroleum products increase virtually in a weekly basis. As of January 27, price increase of gasoline due to the excise tax is at near P3 per liter, while on diesel was at P2.80 per liter. Incorporated with the increases due to global prices, for gasoline is at P4.25 per liter, while diesel at more than P5 per liter. It is common sense that oil price hikes trigger increases in prices of basic goods and commodities.
Fundamentally, the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) raised the alarm that prices of rice have began to increase by P3 per kilogram of well-milled rice in Kidapawan City, Cotabato and P2 per kg in the National Capital Region and Naga City, Camarines Sur. Increases ranging from P0.50 to P3 per kg was monitored from six regional trading centers in the country.
Moreover, meat products such as pork increased by as much as P10 per kg, while dressed chicken with P2 to P20 per kg. Price hikes were also observed on fish and vegetable produces across the country.
Likewise, some transport groups are demanding for a P2-hike in minimum fare, from P8 to P10, citing increases of oil products and spare parts.
“It is ‘fake news’ of the highest form to declare that TRAIN law is a gift, or its impact to the poor sectors as minimal. The winner in this issue is the syndicated interests of the government and big businesses, while the poor sectors, workers, farmers, urban poor, even small businesses at the losing end. We urge the broad public to decisively join protests and the call for its junking, to avoid lessening of family incomes and savings. The people should show to the president that it is not a gift, but a curse to the Filipino poor,” Casilao ended. ###