April 12, 2011
“Nullified even before it was implemented.”
This was how Anakbayan national chairperson Vencer Crisostomo described the Aquino administration’s ’emergency subsidy’ for jeepney and tricycle drivers’ fuel in the face of the biggest oil price hike yet of the year.
The subsidy, amounting to P1.16 per liter, is overshadowed by today’s pump price increases: P1.50 per liter for diesel, and P1.25 for gasoline. The subsidy program, which the government claims will be implemented in two weeks, will run for only one month.
“Obviously, the program was not meant to reduce the effects of the hikes on the public, only the effect on Noynoy’s survey ratings” said the youth leader, in reference to the recent surveys which have shown a huge drop in the president’s popularity.
Crisostomo called the hike ‘vindication’ of Anakbayan’s call for imposing controls on the price of petroleum products, as well as a ‘significant’ wage hike for workers in both the private and public sectors.
“Provided that the wage increase is bigger than what the Dept. of Labor Exploitation is proposing, then we can say that a hike is a better ‘cushion’ for the public against the impact of oil and other price increases” said the youth leader, citing as an example.
He added “Any wage hike proposal must take into consideration the huge gap between the minimum wage and the daily cost of living” he said, pointing out as an example the National Capital Region where the daily minimum is pegged at P404 but the cost of living for an average family (six members) is at P917.