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Feature Posted on September 23rd, 2008.
The increase in the prices of oil, rice, and other basic commodities and products remain unabated, especially with the continuous implementation of neoliberal policies of liberalization, privatization and deregulation.
In 2008, oil prices have been raised by Petron, Caltex and Shell by almost 30 times, that no amount of price rollbacks have yet to assuage the clamor of the people for greater rollbacks in prices. Bayan estimates that prices of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) should be rolled back by P60.81 per 11-kilogram (kg) cylinder tank; diesel prices should also be reduced by P9.56 per liter; kerosene, P12.60; and unleaded gasoline by P3.57.
The continuous monopoly of big oil companies and cartels such as Petron, Shell and Caltex of the world oil industry leaves the Filipino people at their mercy, with them having monopoly over pricing of oil. The implementation of the Oil Deregulation Law has rendered the government inutile in regulating the prices of oil.
The rise in the price of oil most often leads to the rise in prices of other basic commodities and services such as food, medicines, fare, among others. Especially with the imposition of the 12% Expanded Value Added Tax (VAT), a poor woman and her family have become increasingly burdened by such regressive taxes that adds up to the current levels of prices.
This year, the impact of the global financial crisis is expected to hit even harder upon the majority of the impoverished Filipino women and people.
Gabriela Women's Party launches protest actions, issues statements and provides neccesary legislative intervention in mobilizing women against the spate of price increases of basic products and services and the EVAT.