BUTUAN CITY (MindaNews/26 February) — Transport groups and militant organizations here and in Cagayan de Oro City will join the March 15 nationwide transport strike against the recent round of fuel price increases.
“We will participate the national protest against oil price hike next month,” said Angelo Telio of the Butuan chapter of the the Pinag-isang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (Piston or United Nationwide Association of Drivers and Operators).
Telio said oil price increase is the root cause of the crisis because all the other necessities and commodities will increase as well, making lives for the masses harder.
“The price of gasoline decreases a percentage and yet, when it comes to an increase, it doubles and triples a week,” he said.
Tricycle driver Peter Sakyaon said the bulk of the money he earns just goes to gasoline expenses “and only a little amount is left for my family.”
“We are committed to join the protest against oil price increase. The effect of the hike on us here is a double whammy since most of us in the transport sector haven not yet recovered from the (the disaster wrought by) Sendong,” said Sony Hinosolango of the Solidarity of Transport in Region 10 (Starex) said.
“How can we cope? The government must exercise political will to regulate petroleum products and one noble act is to freeze E-VAT,” he added.
Oil prices rose to a fresh nine-month high at near $109 a barrel in Asia last Friday amid signs the US economy is improving and against the backdrop of heightened tensions in the Middle East. (Erwin Mascarinas/MindaNews)