On International Women’s Day, soaring prices of fuel and commodities hit

Mar. 08, 2022

Photo by Kath M. Cortez/davaotoday.com

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Progressive groups launched a protest action on International Women’s Day to raise concerns on the effects of oil price hikes on basic commodities that has affected the Davao poor.

Gathering in a rally in Freedom Park on Roxas Avenue, women’s group Gabriela and public transport drivers’ group Transmission Davao – Piston said government should remove the excise tax on petroleum and repeal the Oil Deregulation Law.

Oil prices have risen for the tenth time this year totaling up to P13.25 per liter for gasoline and P17.50 for diesel with prices now ranging from P60 to P70 per liter. The recent Russia-Ukraine conflict has contributed to the recent round of increase.

Nag sige na lang og taas ang presyo sa petrolyo apan ang atong gobyerno walay klarong plano ug aksyon aron tubagon ang karon dugang krisis nga gina-atubang sa atong mga driver (Petroleum prices continue to increase but the government has not clear action to address the crisis that the drivers are facing),” said Larry Argilles spokesperson of Transmission Piston Davao.

With the soaring fuel price, drivers are struggling to meet their daily earning of P300 to feed their family.

Gabriela Southern Mindanao spokesperson Cora Espinosa also said many households are struggling with the soaring prices of commodities.

Price of cooking oil has reportedly risen to P100 per kilo and sugar at P44 per kilo.

The minimum daily wage for workers in Davao City average around P380 to P390 a day.

Luoy gyud ang mga inahan nga maong nag abaga unsaon nga mapaigo ang gamay nga kita sa panginahanglan sulod sa paminalay. Mas mahimong makaluluoy pa gyud kini kay mas nagkamahal na ang palaliton apan nalansang sa mubong suhulan ug gamay nga kita ang mga kabus,” said Espinosa.

(The mothers bear the burden on how to make do with a meager budget to the needs of the househould. It would get worse when prices keep soaring but wages and earnings of the poor keep diminishing.)

Argilles said the government should address the “latest crisis” by suspending the excise tax and Value Added Tax (VAT) on fuel prices and start talks to repeal the Oil Deregulation Law.

The group said removing excise tax will take away P20 from the price of gasoline and P10 from diesel.

Daku untang tabang kini sa mga driver ug sa katawhan mismo nga wala pa intawon naka bangon sa kalisod bunga sa pandemic (That would help the drivers and the poor who have not recovered from the pandemic),” he said.

Transmision and Kilusang Mayo Uno Davao also raised complaints in the past that the government’s aid for public sector drivers and workers have been inadequate and are not given regularly.

The City Government of Davao has also pushed for the phase out of public jeepneys to give way to modernized bus transportation.

Transmission and Gabriela also scored the government’s priority of funding the anti-insurgency body the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).

Espinosa cite the case of red-tagging on Dr. Jean Lindo, Gabriela Women’s Party-list second nominee and an environmentalist from Davao City. are among those targeted by the attack.

Hangtud karon nagkagrabe ang mga kaso sa pagpangharass sa atong mga membro. Anaa ang walay pu-as nga pagpanghadlok sa atong han-ay aron nga pugson nga muundang sa atong ginahimong pagkibisog alang sa katawhan,” she added.

Gabriela also condemned the recent killing of the volunteer Lumad school teachers and a female health worker in New Bataan, Davao de Oro as a continuing attack on the Lumad and its supporters. (davaotoday.com)

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