Fisherfolk group blames BBM’s ‘negligence, incompetence’ for oil price hike

Fishermen have barely recovered from the surge of oil prices in the past months and the new round of price hike for diesel and kerosene set this week will be an added burden to them.

A fisherman in Cavite (Manila Bulletin/ File Photo)

As such, activist fishers’ group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) slammed the administration of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. for “not doing anything substantial” to cushion the impacts of oil inflation to vulnerable sectors.

“Hindi pa kami lubusang nakakabangon matapos ang walang habas na pagsirit ng presyo ng langis, mayroon na namang panibagong taas-presyo. Panandaliang pakonswelo lang pala ang ilang rollback sa presyo ng petrolyo nitong mga nagdaang linggo (We have yet to fully recover from the seemingly unending price surge of oil products and here comes a new increase. The price rollbacks in the previous weeks were nothing but a short-term consolation),” PAMALAKAYA national spokesperson Ronnel Arambulo said in a statement Monday, August 29.

“Marcos’ negligence and incompetence on the overpricing of oil companies will make him accountable. What’s stopping him from making a decisive government intervention to this oil prices manipulation and standing up for the burdened Filipinos?” he questioned the government.

Prices per liter of diesel and gasoline are expected to increase by P5.40 to 5.70 and P1.30 to P1.60, respectively, this week.

The fishers’ group decried the new round of oil price hike which interrupted at least seven consecutive rollbacks prior.

PAMALAKAYA lamented that rural sectors have yet to get back to their feet following the cumulative increases on fuel prices, among other inflation of prime commodities.

“Bagsak pa rin ang huli ng mga mangingisda epekto ng mataas na gastusin sa produksyon, pangunahin ang langis. Nananatili namang kapos at mabagal ang fuel subsidy ng pamahalaan para sa mga magsasaka at mangingisda (The catch of fishermen remains on a slump due to high cost of production, primarily oil. Meanwhile, the fuel subsidy of the government for farmers and fishers remains slow and insufficient),” Arambulo noted.

The PAMALAKAYA spokesperson said that imposing price control, removal of excise taxes, and reversing the deregulation of the oil industry “only take a compelling executive order and a political will most of all” which, he said, Marcos continues to fail to do.