No Christmas for the Urban Poor, Anakpawis Laments

Because of Surging Oil Prices

Davao City — Less than 50 days before Christmas and yet, due to rising prices of oil products and rice in Mindanao, the poor would have a sad Christmas, Anakpawis partylist said.

“The dismal state of the poor in Davao and in the whole country is appalling. And it is being worsened by increases in the price of oil, rice and basic commodities. Every Christmas season, people’s poverty and hardships are further magnified by the contrasting merry songs and bright lights and décor,” lamented Anakpawis Davao City Spokesperson Franchie Buhayan as she narrated the sorry plight of ordinary families from the urban poor sector in one of the community consultations with Anakpawis.

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Nanay Bering, a pan de sal vendor from Bago Oshiro who supports her eight (8) grandchildren and earns Php 40 to 60 a day said they might just settle with a loaf bread and margarine for their noche Buena. Given the hard times, it doesn’t seem likely that they could afford to have pancit like they usually have every Christmas Eve.

The same is true for Abdul, a father of three and a fisherman in Talomo who catches a maximum of 2 kilos of fish daily and earns around Php100 to P120.

Tatay Boy, a dispatcher in Kanto Puan, takes home around P80 to P100, hardly enough to feed his five children. On Christmas Eve, they plan to “feast” on just cooked rice and if lucky, sardines for viand.
“Every year we see further marginalization of the country’s poor because our vital industries as rice production and oil continue to be monopolized by cartels,” Buhayan said. Rice prices are manipulated because through hoarding and because the local rice industry and farmers are neglected.

Prices of oil products are as easily manipulated because of the Oil Deregulation Law.

ANAKPAWIS urges the government to stop importing rice and instead, increase the procurement of the National Food Authority of local rice to support the local rice industry.

Along with the transport sector Anakpawis also called for the scrapping of the Oil Deregulation Law.

For reference:

Franchie Buhayan
Anakpawis Partylist Spokesperson

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