[Press Release] Wage hike for all workers and oil subsidy for PUV drivers amid oil price hikes | EILER

Wage hike for all workers and oil subsidy for PUV drivers amid oil price hikes – EILER

Labor NGO Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research (EILER) calls on the government to increase the minimum wage and immediately release the oil subsidy for PUV drivers amid incessant oil price hikes due to the worsening geopolitical situation and the highly speculative nature of the market.

“Ordinary Filipinos should not bear the brunt of these oil price hikes. The government should ensure that enough safety nets are in place for the public transport drivers and commuters and that there are subsidies for MSMEs so that they can cope with the increase in prices,” said EILER Executive Director Rochelle Porras.

EILER noted that the wealth of top Filipino billionaires increased as much as 24% from March 2020 to April 2021, the height of extreme lockdowns and restrictions in people’s mobility. In the same period, workers’ real wages dropped in all regions in the country.

According to EILER, the price of oil has increased by as much as 60% from last year.

EILER urged the government to immediately release the P3 Billion oil subsidy for PUV drivers, fisherfolk, and farmers as well as the suspension of excise tax on oil to avoid fare hikes. Likewise, a significant increase in wages must be implemented to keep pace with the rising costs of living.

“Raising the minimum wage will not cause prices to rise. Besides the highly speculative nature of the oil market, the skyrocketing prices are due to inflation and further fueled by the Oil Deregulation Law,” added Porras.

According to EILER, the government should realize the importance of investing in locally-sourced and renewable sources of energy so as not to be dependent on exported crude oil.

28 February 2022
Reference: Ms. Rochelle Porras, EILER Executive Director, +63 927 493 5747

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