Urban poor women coalition vs. price hikes formed

DAVAO CITY –  Aiming to fight the worsening economic crisis head on, urban poor women’s groups formed a coalition tagged as Kababayen-ang Kabus Nagkahiusa Batuk Krisis (KaKaNa), composed of mothers, consumers, OFWs, and vendors from Davao City.

According to Cora Espinoza, head of the Samahan ng Maralitang Kababaihang Nagkakaisa, “The callousness of the Aquino government against the woes of the women in the recent price hikes has called for a unity among women from the urban poor.”

“Sa kining grabeng kalisud nga nasinati nato karon, ang panaghiusa lang sa kababayen-an ug sa katawhan ang atong depensa aron hiniusa natong wagtangon ang EVAT,  pagtakda og price ceiling sa palaliton ug aron paninglon ang gubyerno ni PNoy,” Espinoza said.

The continuous increase in oil prices recently triggered the jeepney fare hike and the price increases in other basic commodities.  Jeepney fare has now increased from P7 to P8.

Espinoza noted that big capitalists and cartel backed by the Aquino administration control the prices of basic commodities explaining that “Sa paglabay sa katuigan, nagataas o nagadaku ang panginahanglan sa mga konsumante.  Tungod kay nasayod niini ang mga kapitalista, mahimo nilang patas-an ang presyo sa mga palaliton pinaagi sa pagkontrol nila sa suplay sa mga produkto labina nga adunay monopolyong kontrol ang kapitalista sa industriya sama sa lana, bugas, kopras ug uban pa.”

“Abi namog kami ang Boss, di man na namo mabati kay mao gihapon ang among kahimtang,” said Alicia, one of the members of (KaKaNa).

“Boss man pud siguro apan ang pasabot kay boslot among bulsa,” she added.

Kakana and Gabriela are pushing for stricter price controls saying that “Ang price control usa ka mekanismo nga ipatuman sa estado aron kontrolon o pugngan ang pagtaas sa presyo sa mga partikular nga palaliton sa gitakda nga panahon.  Importante kini aron mapugngan ang paspas nga pagsaka sa presyo sa mga palaliton sa panahon sa krisis ug kalamidad.”

Price controls through price freeze and price cap can be done under the Price Act or (R.A. 7581, but according to Gabriela, since the law was passed in 1992, no price controls have been enforced by the government.

Espinoza adds, “Nagpabiling Big Boss ni Pnoy ang mga kartel sa bugas ug lana ug lain pang mga dagkong kapitalista.”

KaKaNa together with GABRIELA condemns the P-noy government’s abject neglect and heartlessness towards the majority of the Filipinos, 70% of whom live below the poverty line.

“First, he bought a luxurious car in the midst of the people’s dire situation. Now, it is as if he hasn’t heard of the people’s clamor to stop the oil price hike. His inaction shows how he condones the capitalists’ profit-drive maneuvering of the prices of basic commodities,” said Lyda Canson, Chairperson Emeritus of Gabriela-Davao.

“With high prices and low wages, and the unemployment of a big number of Filipina urban poor, how can the women and their families survive each day? Indeed, it is this exploitative system that pushes women into prostitution and other degrading and menial jobs,” Canson added.

KaKaNa and GABRIELA are planning to hold another protest action against price hikes on Valentines Day.#

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