/ 21 March 2021

A YOUTH group called on the government to immediately take measures to stop the continuing increase in fuel prices.

College Editors Guild of the Philippines said the series of oil price hikes is a burden to workers, particularly minimum wage earners.

“CEGP lambasts these moves to take advantage of the people’s needs most especially to the vendors, drivers, and alike, that all depend on transportation for profit,” group spokesperson Anton Narciso III said in a statement.

“This is proof of how the Duterte regime lets these slip through with his outright inclination to the capitalists and elites than the marginalized in need of his rightful assistance and prioritization,” he added.

Based on the group’s oil price monitoring, Narciso said the costs of gasoline and diesel increased eight times in just the first two months of 2021.

He said oil companies implemented a minimal price rollback of its products only once this year.

“In a time when Filipinos are suffering from their inadequate budgets, barely surviving, and even jobless, oil companies add up to the Duterte administration’s havoc upon staging repeated price increases that cause the basic commodity to balloon in costs,” Narciso said.

“Data further showed that there have been already eight instances of swelling while the supposed to be given rollback were a mere three times continuously going on despite the Covid19 devastation,” he added.

Last February 9, oil firms raised the price of gasoline by P0.85 per liter, diesel by P1.10 per liter, and kerosene by P1 per liter.

According to the Department of Energy, world oil prices continued to comply due to the commitment of producers to hold back crude supply and positive signs of economic growth in the United States.

However, Narciso stressed the series of oil price adjustments, and the rising cost of living at this time of national public health emergency, call for urgency for the administration to act on in the soonest possible time.

Instead of allowing the oil price hike, Narciso said the government should provide workers with a salary hike.

“Moreover, the Guild reiterates the need to issue financial aids such as P10,000 for families affected by the pandemic and raise the minimum wage to P750 to ease the pain on the backs of the Filipinos mostly affected by the government’s anti-poor and anti-people militaristic lockdowns and curfews,” he said.