Thursday, March 15, 2012

Transport strike cancels classes in Manila

Transport groups today began their transport caravan. Transport groups are asking a one peso to two peso fee hike following the subsequent oil price hikes that oil companies did over the past few days. Diesel prices are nearing the 50 peso mark and analysts say, gasoline prices will break the 60 peso mark in the next few days. LPG prices are now at the 1,000-1,100 peso mark.

PISTON is leading the charge, accusing the Aquino administration of ignoring the public's pleas for a momentary lifting of VAT collections in pump prices. Senator Ralph Recto, the main proponent of VAT law, has asked government to at least make VAT charges in oil at ten percent to mitigate the effects. Malacanang thru Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda flatly denied Recto's request, saying that Malacanang is using the monies collected from oil VAT in government's Pantawid Pamilyang Pinoy program, or government's version of a dole out program.

Transport groups have no recourse but to use the streets as platform for grievance. PISTON members and other sympathetic groups will join today's Nationwide strike.

Because of this, schools in Manila have suspended their classes. Schools within and around Manila decided not to inconvenience their students and promptly decided to suspend their operations today.

If this will not be adequately managed by government, this will worsen over the next few days and weeks. 

Let me tell these transport groups---Malacanang will definitely not listen to you because their interests lie diametrically opposed to yours. Their interests is simple--provide higher revenues to their clients, that is, Big Business. Even if the proof of hyperhiking of prices is fairly evident, Malacanang will not lift a single finger because of its existing policy not to intervene with what Big Business is doing. So, we will continue to suffer as a people for as long as this administration remains apathetic to our monumental concerns.