KMP: Fuel price hikes hurting poor most
The leftist peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) on Tuesday said the latest round of big-time fuel price increases would hurt low- to middle-income earners, especially farmers and fishermen who made up the country’s poorest sectors.
On Tuesday, gasoline and diesel prices went up by P1.45 per liter while a liter of kerosene increased by P1.35. The cumulative fuel price increases in February alone were P6 per liter for diesel, P5 per liter for gasoline and P4 to P5 per liter for kerosene.
KMP leader and former Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano said the government “must decisively act on high prices of prime goods and food” by scrapping laws and policies that put the burden of price increases on the poor.
Among them, he said, were the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act, oil deregulation law and the law imposing value-added tax on petroleum products.
“A legislated wage increase for workers in the agricultural and nonagri sector is also necessary,” Mariano said.
The group said retail prices of consumer goods and food had also increased by 1 to 5 percent in mid-February.
According to KMP, the effects of successive price increases were being felt most by low-income sectors.
The group cited the case of a woman farmer in Norzagaray town, Bulacan province, who earns an average of only P300 to P400 per day selling farm produce like bananas and root crops.
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