BAGUIO CITY (Jan. 24) — Kabataan Kontra-Kartel, an alliance of youth and student organizations opposing the oil cartel, launched a signature campaign to scrap the Oil Deregulation Law and oil price hikes (OPH) Tuesday at People’s Park here.
Antoni Karl Riva, the secretary-general of Anakbayan-Metro Baguio said, the target number of signatures is 10,000 in the Cordillera . He said the signatures would be submitted at the Energy Summit Tuesday next week in Malacañang.
Riva added as of January 22, some 200 have already signed. “The youth will continue to gather more signatures from schools, parks, and other establishments until February,” he said.
Led by Anakbayan, the KKK calls for the support and unity of different sectors to persuade the government to take action to stop the immoral and unjust procedures of oil companies. The group also claimed government’s response to the continuous oil price increase is not sincere.
In a statement, Anakbayan urged the government for more decisive and concrete resolutions aside from the “tariff cuts”, such as conservation and development of alternative energy sources.
Anakbayan said in a statement it opposes oil price increases due to to its ill effects to the economy. The youth organization said oil price hikes impact on almost all sectors. The group explained the production cost of vegetables and other commodities will increase resulting in the loss of income to farmers.
The youth group added oil price hike could prompt capitalist educators to increase tuition adding burden to the students, Anakbayan said in the statement.
Anakbayan also called for the scrappage of the Oil Deregulation Law and for the immediate stop of the imposed Reformed Value Added Tax (RVAT) on petroleum products which increases the oil price by at least 12 percent. The organization also disapproves of the 12 percent RVAT not only on petroleum products. They said that the added taxes compelled by the government from the people will definitely worsen the oil price hike.
The youth group said since the enactment of the Oil Deregulation Law in 1996, there has been a 535 percent increase in the price of oil. It adds that big oil companies are the only ones benefiting from this law since they are free to increase prices without government intervention.
The militant youth and student organization also believes that the direct manipulation of the oil price is due to the monopoly of companies in the oil industry that give them the power to dictate the oil price in the local market.
Anakbayan also calls for the ouster of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo because they blame the regime in this increase because they are responsible for this increases. # Dorothea Ysabel B. Maranan and Keidy M. Transfiguracion for NORDIS