Manila, Philippines – A day before the marking of the International Women’s Day, “kababaihang anakpawis” or poor women producers and consumers held a noise barrage and human chain protest in front of the Mega Q-Mart in Quezon City against the non-stop oil price hikes affecting the prices of basic commodities, livelihood and household incomes of poor sectors.

Groups from Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women, Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay), and Anakpawis Party-list likewise slammed President Rodrigo Duterte for his inaction on the issue and neglect of the immediate demand to rollback the oil prices. At present, poor Filipinos are forced to brace the impact of another big-time price hike next week which would be the 10th this year.

“Same with other sectors, we women producers and consumers, especially mothers, suffer from the oil price hikes that spill over to the already rising prices of food, basic commodities, and services. The P80-90 increase of LPG (super kalan) from December 2021 up to present is another blow to us considering the impact of socio-economic crisis during the pandemic, ” Cathy Estavillo, Secretay-General of Amihan and Anakpawis Party-list said.

“Duterte the ‘national burden’ should be blamed for this crisis as he tolerates the imposition of taxes on oil products and the implementation of the oil deregulation law which benefit the big oil companies,” she lamented.

Amihan and Kadamay exclaimed that food prices in the market including LPG, cooking oil, dried fish, sardines, sugar, eggs, noodles, meat, chicken, rice and others were unaffordable due to non-stop oil price hike. In the countryside, the agriculture and fisheries productions were also affected.

Also, Lana Linaban, 2nd nominee of Anakpawis Party-list who joined the protest said that the Filipino people should join the broadening call to junk the oil deregulation law. Moreover, demand the Duterte government to provide P10,000 social amelioration for poor families, P15,000 production subsidy for farmers, fishermen and other agricultural producers, fuel subsidy for drivers, and P100 emergency wage relief for workers.

“On the other hand, the producers, retailers, and consumers must unite to lower the cost of production and prevent the continued rise of retail prices,” she urged.

Amihan, Kadamay, and Anakpawis Party-list vowed to continue to protest the non-stop oil price hikes. Likewise, urged the soon to be elected officials to repeal the Oil Deregulation Law and encouraged the government to take full control and nationalize the oil industry as this remains the decisive measure to end the chronic crisis brought about oil price shocks. ###

Photo by Rural Women Advocates (RUWA)

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