Zambales Rep. Mitos Magsaysay said that President Noynoy Aquino should first focus on the growing problem of unabated oil price hikes rather than devote his time on the imaginary bid to oust him from office by his detractors. Magsaysay added that if he does not find a sustainable solution to the consistent skyrocketing in the price of petroleum products, there will be more members of the transport sector who will follow the lead of taxi operators in asking for fare hikes.
“Instead of announcing that there are moves to oust him from office by political foes, perhaps the President would do well to buckle down to work and order his men to solve this problem because pretty soon, it will already get out of hand and the country will be left unprepared to deal with the aftermath,” she said.
“This is just the start of more petitions to come,” she warned. “I can’t blame taxi operators from making the move to increase their flag down rates to P50 since there is an unabated increase in the prices of gasoline, and the government has not done anything for them. They also have families to support and the government must be sensitive to this.”
However, Magsaysay warned that should the government approve the petition, it will be the commuters who will suffer the brunt of the petroleum price increases, which is unfair as their salaries have remained stagnant in recent years.
“What will become of our regular minimum wage earners? No matter where they turn, they cannot escape the shadow of these hikes that causes a huge impact on the cost of doing business, among other things. Regular folks are the ones who in the end, shoulder the burden of these movements in prices because they are also the consumers that need to purchase the end products of these industries.”
Worse, Magsaysay said that officials are unsympathetic to their plight, even saying that Filipinos should be thankful that price hikes are not happening on a daily basis unlike in the United States.
“They should not compare the situation of the US to the Philippines because it is completely different. Their government has funds to institute measures to cushion the impact of inflation and they have tax rebates, and other programs that negate the impact of oil price hikes but do we have that here? So far, all the administration has implemented is a temporary subsidy program that does not even benefit all public utility vehicles so how effective could this really be? What we need are concrete and substantial solutions, not lip service.”#