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Lack of ‘significant’ wages, coddling of ‘oil profiteers’; big businesses shows Aquino’s anti-poor bias – Anakbayan

November 19, 2010

Youth group launches series of weekly noise barrages against anti-livelihood measures

Youth group Anakbayan held a noise barrage today at the Welcome Rotonda to call for a ‘significant’ wage hike in response to the skyrocketing cost of several basic commodities and services. They also condemned the continued insistence of the Aquino administration to push for the Private-Public Partnerships (PPP).

The groups labeled as a ‘double whammy’ the series of weekly oil price hikes and impending fare hikes in the MRT and LRT train systems. The price hikes, including the latest which is a P2/per liter in diesel, have prompted some transport sector groups to call for a jeepney minimum fare hike to P8.

Anakbayan spokesperson Charisse Bañez labeled as ‘rehashed’ claims by the Dept. of Energy that the series of price hikes was attributable to the rise of oil prices in the world market.

“Oil firms have always used ‘external factors’ to cover up their greed” said the youth leader. But she pointed that out that while petroleum products’ prices were being raised on a weekly basis, these came from the batch of products several weeks-old, meaning they were priced at rates before the increases in the world market. She also noted that Petron Corporation announced a 59% increase in their net income from last year, or P5.4 billion to P3.4 billion.

Meanwhile, Bañez blasted Aquino for continuing to push for ‘PPPs’ to provide certain social services, saying the MRT-LRT fare hikes are a ‘preview of what’s in store’ if such projects continue.

“He is allowing private corporations to control more roads, bridges, and other services under the guise of giving them contracts to provide the said services” she said.

Bañez concluded that at the heart of both issues is Aquino’s ‘coddling’ of private corporations, even at the expense of the people’s right to accessible services.

‘Significant wage’ hike as response

In response, the militant group of young workers, farmers, professionals, students, and migrant and out-of-school youth called for a ‘significant’ wage hike. Anakbayan’s Bañez She announced that they will join the planned multi-sectoral pro-wage hike alliance KPMM (Koalisyon ng Progresibong Manggagawa at Mamamayan).

“The youths, as the ones who will inherit the deplorable conditions of today’s workers, need to unite with the cause for wage hikes” said Anakbayan’s Bañez.

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