Anakbayan hails train hike deferrement, calls for total scrapping of other transport fare, oil price hikes as well
Anakbayan, a militant group of young workers, professionals, and students welcomed today the announcement that the LRT-MRT fare hikes will not push through on March 1. The group called it a ‘victory’ of the Filipino people and urged everyone to ‘remain vigilant’ until the proposed hikes are withdrawn by the national government.
“The Filipino youth and people have no one else to thank but themselves. By signing our petitions, wearing black during Friday, joining the protest actions at the train stations, storming the Feb. 4 student consultation, etc., they have given the Aquino administration a preview of what awaits them should they carry on with the hikes” said Anakbayan spokesperson Vencer Crisostomo.
He noted however that since it is a deferrement as the LRTA claims to need at least a month to study the various position papers submitted to them, the hikes might push through after the one-month period. He demanded the Aquino administration to categorically scrap any proposals to increase LRT-MRT fares.
Next stop for ‘youth protest express’?
In the meantime, Crisostomo said that the planned Feb. 28 school walkouts will continue, not only to call for the scrapping of the LRT-MRT fare hikes, but also for President Aquino to finally take action on the other fare and oil price hikes.
“The collective action express is unstoppable. Our next stop should be the oil price hikes which affect virtually all Filipinos across the nation” said the youth leader.
“Unlike the trains which should be subsidized by the government, they don’t need to subsidize oil companies to keep down the prices of their products. Aquino should just bring back regulatory mechanisms to ensure that they are not overpricing” asserted Anakbayan’s Crisostomo.
The group has maintained that petroleum pump prices are overpriced mainly by three reasons:
1. Pump prices are being hiked weekly while the companies’ stock of crude oil is only replenished every three months
2. Their crude oil is not purchased at the open world market
3. It is bought from their ‘mother companies’ which practice ‘transfer pricing’, or the overpricing of products a mother company sells to its local subsidiary