Transport Strike and People’s Protest highlights demands
for immediate and long-term solutions to oil price hikes
■ Manila ■ Davao City ■ Cagayan de Oro City ■ Cotabato City
September 19, 2011
Photos courtesy of AGHAM Nasyunal,
Karlos Manlupig, Paul Anthony Crooks, KAWAGIB,
People's March, Tudla Prod and Tyrone Velez as indicated by the filenames
Bayan calls for
mass protests against oil deregulation, VAT impositions
Posted on 17 September 2011 by admin
“Malacanang cannot blame the people
for choosing to go to the streets. The problems are getting worse and the
government offers non-solutions. Instead of finding fault in the
protesters, government should focus on immediate and medium-term solutions
to the oil problem. Pantawid-pasada just won’t cut it anymore,” Reyes
People’s review of deregulation
Bayan is also readying a “people’s
review” of more than a decade of the oil deregulation law, which it plans
to submit to the Executive and to Congress. President Aquino has asked
several government agencies to conduct a review of the oil deregulation
law after a dialogue with transport leaders last week.
“The people’s review will go beyond
just making the oil deregulation law work. The people’s review aims to
highlight the inherent flaws of deregulation as a policy. We will back up
our analysis with hard facts. The results of the review will be submitted
to Malacanang and to the Senate and House energy committees,” Reyes said.
“If Aquino is serious in reviewing
the deregulation law, he should be open to inputs not just from his
economic team but also from consumer groups and other affected sectors,”
Immediate call to scrap VAT on oil
Bayan also reiterated its call to
scrap the VAT on oil and toll to spare consumers further economic burdens.
The VAT on toll takes effect October 1 this year.
“Instead of asking the public to
tighten their belts, government should instead tighten its own by reducing
VAT collections on oil and toll fess. The public has long been trying to
make ends meet and making sacrifices. We have not seen the government make
any sacrifice,” Reyes.
“Government is obsessed with collecting the P70 billion in VAT on oil revenues at the expense of the people. It’s just obscene to be earning windfall revenues of P26 billion while the public suffers from high oil prices. Our policymakers are either callous or oblivious towards the people’s plight,” he added. ###
Linaban said that women are fed up with the
Aquino government’s band-aid solutions like the “Pantawid” programs
instead of taking up long term solutions to the people's woes. Last
Thursday, after a dialogue with transport groups, the government again
announced the continuation of the distribution of fuel subsidy cards for
drivers while merely agreeing to study the repeal of the Oil Deregulation
Law. “These fuel subsidy cards will be rendered useless with the unabated
increase in oil prices. The amount (P1,050) is not even enough to cover
the P480 per day loss in the income of drivers, driving thus their
families deeper into poverty.”
League of Filipino Students
IBON Media Release / 19 September 2011
IBON Media Release / 20 September 2011
|Cagayan de Oro City|
Transport Strike and People’s Protest to push for immediate and long-term solutions to oil price hikes
September 15, 2011
The people are once again called upon to unite and push for the long-sought immediate economic relief and long term solutions to the skyrocketing oil prices. It has now become more legitimate, necessary and urgent for the people to initiate widespread and sustaining actions amidst the Aquino administration’s leniency towards the oil companies which manipulate oil prices according to their whims for profits at the expense of the people who become more and more desperately poor everyday.
Thus, the Solidarity of Transport Alliance in Region X (STAREX-PISTON), Bagong Alyansang Makabayan – NMR, Kilusang Mayo Uno – NMR, Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap – CDO, ANAKBAYAN – CDO and other nationalist and progressive organizations in this region, declare our participation to the NATIONWIDE PEOPLE’S PROTEST AND TRANSPORT STRIKE which is set on September 19, 2011, from 4am to 4pm.
In the first fifteen months of the Aquino administration, prices of oil have increased 35 times with a total of P16 per liter while on the other hand there were only six token rollbacks.
Oil firms and P-Noy government have been consistently singing the same tune as to the supposed reason for the increases: that it is the world market that dictates oil prices and that we are essentially helpless in this regard. The Department of Energy had even come up with its lame excuse that it has no power to regulate oil prices since its mandate is only to monitor oil prices.
It is obvious that the Aquino government favors the oil companies. This is not surprising given the fact that 68% of Petron is controlled by San Miguel Corporation, which is owned by Danding Cojuangco, P-Noy’s uncle.
With its distorted fiscal policies and priorities the Aquino administration refused to remove the regressive 12% EVAT on oil which is essentially taxing the poor while on the other hand, big corporations like Shell and Chevron which have supposedly not been paying Malampaya taxes properly are not being confronted.
It is simply not true that the government is helpless and cannot do anything to control oil prices. There are immediate and long-term solutions which are feasible and doable. These could be done only under a kind of government that does not aggressively push and place corporate or elite interests over that of the people but a government that prioritizes above everything else the people’s development needs. We reiterate our demands:
Rollback to P9/liter the prices of oil and remove the almost P6/liter EVAT, resulting to a P15/liter oil price decrease.
Nationalize the oil industry by doing the following measures and mechanisms:
SCRAP the Oil Deregulation Law
Properly utilize and develop our own alternative energy sources for our own benefit instead of selling these off to foreign investors. Develop our natural gas reserves of around 700 million barrels of oil equivalent and coal reserves of 8.6 billion barrels of oil equivalent, which could provide our energy needs for a decade even without oil imports.
Centralized procurement of imported crude oil and refined petroleum products by the government. With this, the government can regulate the price of oil and petroleum products.
Buy back Petron Corporation. Petron has refining capacity, storage facilities, distribution lines as well as 40% of the domestic market.
Create a long-term buffer fund supply and at the same time, allocate a buffer fund to cushion the impact on consumers of sudden increases in oil prices. The buffer fund or income and not to be shouldered by the consumers.
We call on the people to join us on September 19, 2011. Our demands are valid, legitimate and urgent and for our own long-term well-being and interests.
Sonny Hinosolango Vanessa Entia Nestor Pepito
Spokesperson Deputy Secretary General Regional Coordinator
STAREX-PISTON BAYAN-NMR KMU-NMR
Francisco Pagayaman Antonio Pasco, Jr. Richard Colao
Secretary General Spokesperson Regional Coordinator
KADAMAY – CDO ANAKBAYAN – CDO KMP – NMR
Official Declaration of Solidarity of Transport Alliance in Region 10
99% paralysis in Cagayan de Oro
100% Iligan City
90% Valencia City
until 10:00am (protesters were harassed and dispersed)
60% Malaybalay City.
September 19, 2011
increase of oil prices has brought untold sufferings and robs even further
the people of their hard-earned income.
The increases are not justified as
according to IBON Foundation there should have been cuts in oil prices
from P7.00 – P9.00.
The unabated increases in oil prices
started when Republic Act 8479 (An act deregulating the downstream oil
industry and for other purposes) was enacted into law in 1998.
The objective of deregulation is to
promote and encourage the entry of new participants in the oil industry
which will create a competitive market under a regime of fair prices and
continuous supply of oil. However, things did not turn on that direction.
While there are new players in the oil industry, competition did not pull
the prices of oil and on the contrary it pushes the prices upwards.
Having no social obligations, the oil
company’s rakes billion in profits and blames the prices increases to the
fluctuating world crude oil prices, peso-dollar exchange rates and the
political unrest in the Middle East.
For more than a decade now, the oil
deregulation law has failed in its objectives. So far, it has succeeded
only in ensuring the foreign oil companies of super profits and made the
Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) helpless and inutile. This only lend
credence to the study that there is “no hope for fair prices under
Despite mounting protest, the P-Noy
administration remains deaf and continues to assure the profits of big oil
The government has consistently
rejected the calls of many sectors to junk RA 8479 and/or at the very
least, remove and or decrease the 12% VAT on oil prices.
Finding a solution to the problem
appears remote; as the government says that reversing the oil deregulation
law would mean that it would subsidize the price.
The Legislative-Executive Development
Advisory Council (LEDAC) has not only refused to understand the fact that
without government strong intervention in oil industry, the economy will
continue to experience the domino effect of oil price increases.
LEDAC priority has been greatly
influenced by the dictates of the MFI’s (World Bank-International Monetary
Fund-Asian Development Bank) and the United States through the USAID.
Bills that would deregulate/decouple the remaining government agencies
giving services to the people were prioritized. The priority now is to
veer away from what they call costly subsidy and instead re-channel the
subsidy fund for foreign loan payments.
Under the deregulated oil industry,
the cartels controls the oil from production to distribution and because
of this, we can never expect prices and competition to be fair.
As it is folly to leave the oil
industry in the hands of oil cartels, there is a need to eventually solve
the perennial oil problems and end cartels greed for profits.
Instead of liberalizing the oil
industry and free competition, the government should repeal RA 8479 and
once again, assume the role of both a “referee” and “player” at the same
time by performing the regulatory and proprietary functions.
The government should immediately
break the control of the oil cartels and should now strongly intervene in
the importation, refining, storing, distribution, retailing of oil and
Protect the socio-economic welfare of
the people! Junk the Oil Deregulation Law and Nationalize the Oil
Industry! Support HB 4317 or “An Act Repealing RA 8479!
Protektor ng tatlong dambuhalang kompanya ng langis; Nationwide Transport
Strike tuloy na ngayong ika-19 ng Setyembre!