Valte’s gaffe shows gov’t not seeking relief from oil price hikes

Media Release
12 March 2012

Valte’s gaffe shows gov’t not seeking relief from oil price hikes

Labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno said today that the deputy presidential spokesperson’s ignorance about a bill in Congress seeking to scrap the Value-Added Tax on petroleum products shows that the Aquino government is not really seeking relief for the people from non-stop oil price hikes.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte earlier dared groups calling for the scrapping of the VAT on oil to file a bill in Congress, not knowing that Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño already filed House Bill 2719 on Aug. 2010. She then admitted not knowing the bill.

“Valte’s error is not only a personal fault. It only shows that the Aquino government is not really looking for ways to help workers and poor people cope with unabated increases in oil prices,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.

“We have been calling for the scrapping of the VAT on petroleum products since the term of Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. It is clear that the ‘change’ which Pres. Aquino promises does not include relief from non-stop oil price hikes,” he added.

Protests needed

It is now clear, KMU said, that workers and the poor should rise up in protest to call for relief from soaring oil prices, including the scrapping of the VAT on oil.

“It is now very clear that the Aquino government cannot be relied upon to work for workers and the poor on the issue of oil. It is now up to the people to put pressure on the Aquino government to act as we wish,” Labog said.

“The Aquino government has been actively colluding with the big oil companies. It has refused to act decisively on the overpricing being implemented by the Big 3, scrap the VAT on oil, and junk the Oil Deregulation Law,” he added.

“Worse, the Aquino government merely tried to pacify protests by implementing the Pantawid Pasada program which is ineffective in helping the transport sector. It merely created a pro-business committee to investigate allegations of overpricing,” he said.

“The Aquino government has merely acted as the Big 3’s spokesperson. With the Value-Added Tax on oil, it is also a benefactor of the oil price hikes,” Labog said.

Reference: Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson, 0908-1636597 

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