March 16, 2012
One day after the transport protest against the unabated increases in oil prices, the Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) called on the administration of President Benigno Aquino III to remove the VAT on oil products as an immediate measure to reduce prices.
“Noynoying at oil price hikes is unacceptable. Malacanang must assuage the public that despite movements in the international price of oil, the government has the menu of options to mitigate the impact of these price movements,” insisted Jong Pacanot, PM-Davao spokesperson.
He added that the government must seriously consider demands for the removal of VAT on oil to mitigate the impact of oil price hikes which is expected to reach the 2008 level of P60/liter. The government collects twelve percent in every liter of oil products.
“It is unfortunate that Energy Department officials get elated with the news that there might be a ‘pause’ in oil price hikes this week while the fact remains that more than a decade since the oil deregulation law, the regime of higher oil prices has been pestering the lives of the workers and the poor,” Pacanot asserted.
The labor party added its voice in calling for the government to take decisive steps in stopping relentless hikes in oil prices. The group also asked the government to adjust the current level of wages by granting labor groups’ petitions for wage increase. Last Wednesday, PM and the Philippine Airlines Employees Association picketed the Petron headquarters in
. Makati City
“Raising the consumers’ capacity to buy is also an option. Thus, a new wage order at this point in time must be issued by the government,” Pacanot explained.
The group is open to supporting all means to raise wages from the petition filed by the TUCP at the regional wage boards to a legislated wage hike bill filed in Congress by militant lawmakers.