Fishers bear the brunt of latest oil price hike
Manila, Philippines — The national fishers group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) on Monday decried the latest oil price hike that took effect last week. Prices of gasoline, diesel, and petroleum products have increased at around P1-P2 per liter.
In a statement, the fisherfolk group questioned the timing of the price increase when people are enduring the impacts of the corona virus disease (COVID-19) to the public health and economic lives of the people.
“The oil price hike is an additional burden to poor families who barely make ends meet caused by the restrictive community quarantine. It is detrimental to small fisherfolks who regularly consume gasoline for fishing operations, as petroleum products eat up almost 80% of our production costs. An increase to prices of oil products means an increase to our production expenses to another all-time high,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said in a statement.
The fisherfolk group lamented that the fishing sector is already “battered by the skyrocketing oil prices caused by the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law”, which since its implementation in 2018, has increased the prices of diesel and gasoline by around P6 and P10, respectively.
PAMALAKAYA added that the price hike could trigger price shocks on basic goods and services, which will worsen the suffering of the already distressed families caused by the lockdown and the government’s slow and inadequate social support.
“Fishers and farmers will be hard hit by the recent fuel price hike and its potential drastic domino effect to prices of other goods and commodities. The government has yet to aid all the rural folks affected by the lockdown, and yet we have to bear the brunt of another oil price increase. We need production subsidy and economic aid, not another costly production that will further our hardship,” ended Hicap. ###