DAVAO CITY, Philippines – For the militant labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno, the P1 fare hike recently approved by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board will not provide direct benefit to the workers in the transport sector.
“The fare hike is not intended to help workers in the transport sector. A P1 fare hike won’t help drivers and operators put food on the table, or send their children to school, or pay rent or utility bills,” said KMU chair Elmer “Bong” Labog in a statement on Friday.
Labog said the move will make the commuters pay ”for the overpriced and overtaxed fuel” caused by the implementation of the TRAIN (Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion) and oil deregulation laws. He said TRAIN law has led to record rates of inflation, hitting a five-high this month of July.
“Filipino workers are seeing the impact of the law on the rising costs of basic goods such as food and transport. The fuel taxes set by train will also impose additional costs on the power sector, leading to higher electricity bills,” he added.
Labog pointed out that drivers and Filipino workers do not need a fare hike, only the junking of the TRAIN law and the passage of the National Minimum Wage Bill or the House Bill 7787 which is now pending in the House of Representatives.
The increase of the wages of Filipino workers across the country at P750 a day is imperative, Labog said.
“It is enraging that the Duterte administration has responded to the plight of the Filipino people with a fare hike instead of a wage hike,” he added.
The labor group also called on the public to hold the Duterte regime accountable for the increase in the cost of fares, rice, electricity, water, and other basic needs.
“We call on commuters, drivers, operators, and the rest of the Filipino people to unite against the TRAIN law and the other burdensome policies of the Duterte regime,” Labog concluded. (davaotoday.com)