MANILA — Kabataan Partylist and other youth groups trooped to the National Statistics Office East Avenue Branch in Quezon City to urge the public to sign a petition against the Aquino government’s recently approved Administrative Order 31. This, the youth groups say, legalizes increases in processing fees which Filipinos regularly pay in various government offices. AO 31 further commercializes public services, the Kabataan Partylist said.
Terry Ridon, a new lawyer and national president of Kabataan Partylist, slammed the AO 31: “It could not have come at a worse time. Many Filipinos are reaping the effects of increases in oil prices and electricity. Plus, there is the confirmation of the MRT hike January next year.”
Although the AO 31 is set for implementation in January as well, Ridon noted that its approval exemplifies additional burden to the already difficult life of many Filipinos.
Ridon explained that “AO 31 came straight from Malacañang and President Aquino, and that it shows how insensitive and ignorant the President is of the plight of most Filipinos. Why rub salt on an open wound?”
People frustrated with the long lines at the NSO, and upset by the news of AO 31, welcomed the members of Kabataan Partylist.The group vowed to continue campaigning against AO 31 and other approved ‘unjust hikes.’
Photos by CHAD BALANGON