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Thursday, March 17, 2011

OFWs, dependents say 'Ouch!' on oil price hikes


Even OFWs and their dependents are not spared from the effect of never-ending price hikes on oil products including gasoline, diesel, and kerosene, and other commodities and social services such as electricity and water.


“We, OFWs and dependents, have been tightening our belt for the past years due to the continuous price increases of oil products, goods and services; these series of price hikes are ‘killing us so gently’,” said John Leonard Monterona, the Saudi-based OFW leader of Migrante-Middle East.


Monterona is reacting on the recent price hikes of gasoline, diesel, and kerosene by major oil companies in the Philippines.


Today, Shell announced that it will raise prices of unleaded gasoline by P0.50 per liter, kerosene by P0.30/liter, and diesel by P.06/liter.


While, Seaoil had also announced that price increase for kerosene is by P.30/liter, gasoline by P0.50/liter, and diesel by P0.60/liter.


Both announced that the new prices will take effect on 12:01 am of March 15. Other oil companies are expected to follow suit, sooner.


“I was told by my wife that these latest price hikes of gasoline, diesel and kerosene had been the nth time this year, and that she is struggling adjusting her budget, implying that my remittance would not be enough,” Monterona averred.


“I am quite certain that not only I and my family will feel the crunch of oil price hikes –the majority of OFWs too, who are only receiving meager wages ranging from P15,000 to P35,000 a month amid better appreciation of peso against the dollar,” Monterona added.


“How about the local workers in the Philippines who are barely receiving a wage of P420 a day -they will be hit hardest by the recent price hikes on oil products; worker’s demand for P125 wage increase across the board nation-wide has not been listened by the Aquino govt.,” he continued.



Monterona added as one could observed when there is price hikes on oil products, prices of other goods and services will eventually have to increase too.


“What is quite alarming is that the Aquino govt. seems not bothered by these recent price hikes as it rejected the proposal to abolish the imposition of E-VAT on oil products to lessen the impact to consumers,” Monterona averred.


Monterona said the Aquino govt. outright refusal to stop imposing E-VAT on oil products is an indication that it will not heed on the proposal to review the Oil Deregulation Law and take a strong position on regulating the oil industry that has long been exploited by major oil companies by merely setting speculative prices, thus accruing billions of profits, associating it to political instability in the Middle East where oil-producing countries like Libya and Saudi are now under siege by internal political strife.


“To be in control of the prices of oil products, the Aquino govt. must move towards the nationalization of the oil industry by crafting a sustainable oil resources acquisition and have its own eco-friendly oil exploration in the country to the benefits of its own people as consumers,” Monterona opined.


“To do this, the Aquino govt. must cut its own dependency to major oil companies, multi-national and trans-national corporations, and ultimately shun away from liberalized, privatized and deregulated economic structure in favor of a well planned socio-economic base and policies,” Monterona ended.


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