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Youth groups set ‘Walkout like an Egyptian’, day-long protests vs. ‘pyramid’ of hikes

January 31, 2011

Youth groups led by Anakbayan will hold a day-long series of protests today to protest the P1 jeepney fare hike, which will take effect tomorrow, as well as previous and pending other fare and price hikes.

The militant group of young workers, professionals, and students will also be joined by the following organizations: the League of Filipino Students (LFS), Student Christian Movement of the Philippines (SCMP), Kabataang Artista para sa Tunay na Kalayaan (Karatula), College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP), National Union of Students in the Philippines (NUSP), Kabataan Partylist.

There will also be contingents from the following local campus alliances: STAND UP – UP Diliman, ASAP Katipunan – UP Manila, SAMASA – PUP, STAND – Phil. Normal University, KBPA – University of the East, and ACT – University of Sto. Tomas.

The actions will be kicked off by a noise barrage at Philcoa in Quezon City by University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD) students at 7am.

By 12nn, students from UPD, University of the Philippines Manila, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, and other Metro Manila universities and several public high schools will walkout of their classes. They will all converge at the Mendiola Bridge at 1:30pm where they will hold a program.

Afterwards, the Mendiola contingent will join other sectoral organizations for a 5pm noise barrage at the Welcome Rotonda.

“(President Noynoy) Aquino should be held responsible for the jeep fare hike, as well as increases in the price of basic commodities, as he has allowed the oil cartel to pad their pump prices and profits at the expense of the public” said Anakbayan spokesperson Vencer Crisostomo.

“The jeep fare hike is but the tip of Noynoy Aquino’s ‘pyramid of price increases’ which the ordinary Filipino is being made to bear on their shoulders” said Anakbayan spokesperson Vencer Crisostomo.

He argued that aside from being a major factor in the recently approved jeep and taxi fare increases, higher transportation costs due to oil price hikes also contribute to increases in the price of vegetables and bread, as well as pending increases in the price of milk and a bus fare hike this month. Aside from these, there will also be increases in electricity and water charges this February, an up-to-100% hike for LRT-MRT fares, and a monthly toll increase in the SLEX until April.

“Aquino should be held responsible for this new ‘PPP’: Pyramid of Poverty & Price Hikes, as he has allowed the oil cartel to pad their pump prices and profits at the expense of the public” said the youth leader.

Crisostomo’s group has previously slammed the weekly oil price hikes last January as ‘baseless’ due to the fact that local oil firms did not buy their crude oil on a weekly basis, as commonly thought of, but every three months. They cited an earlier pronouncement by the umbrella group Bayan that at the close of 2010, local pump prices were overpriced by P6.72 per liter.

Meanwhile, Crisostomo called on the government to intervene with the series of hikes, lest Aquino be ‘burnt by the Egyptian fire’.

“We are closely watching the Egyptian peoples’ struggle against their own anti-poor, U.S-backed puppet. Aquino should be careful because once our patience runs out, he can bet we will be ‘walking like an Egyptian’” said the Anakbayan leader, in reference to massive protests in Egypt and other Middle East-North Africa countries spurred by the high price of many basic commodities. ###

Reference: Vencer Crisostomo, Anakbayan spokesperson, 09174416739

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