KMU backs transport strike
MANILA, Philippines—The militant labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno on Saturday threw its support behind the planned transport strike against continuing and frequent gasoline and diesel price increases. .
Elmer Labog, KMU chair, said his group supported calls by transport groups for an end to the “overpricing” of oil products and alleged collusion between the government and oil companies.
“Amidst low wages, rising prices, massive unemployment and widespread poverty and hunger, the Filipino workers and people are calling for immediate relief from the high and still-soaring prices of oil products,” Labog said in a sstatment.
He said the government should nationalize the oil industry, scrap the oil deregulation law, remove the 12 percent value added tax on oil products, and implement a P9 rollback in the price of gasoline.
“The overpricing being implemented by the Big 3 oil companies is simply reprehensible. They have matched price rollbacks in the world market with meager rollbacks here. They have matched price increases in the world market with huge increases here,” Labog said.
“As a result, they have accumulated a P9.00 overpricing per liter of oil since January 2008. There is no way to describe this except as robbery: the Filipino workers and people are being robbed of our hard-earned incomes,” he added.
Labog blamed the oil deregulation law for allowing oil companies to increase prices “at will to boost their already immense profits.”
“Under the deregulated setup of the oil industry, all it takes for the Big 3 to increase prices is load for texting the government,” he said.
Labog added that the government had no intention of scrapping the law because of the revenues its collects from oil products.
He said that while Malacañang held a dialogue with transport groups, it failed to address their concerns.
“We therefore wholeheartedly support the September 19 transport strike. We likewise declare a people’s protest on that day. We are calling on the drivers of public utility vehicles to join the transport strike,” Labog said.
“We are also calling on the workers and people to join the people’s protests. The high and increasing prices of petroleum products is everyone’s issue,” he added.
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