IT seems the end of the flagellation of the Filipinos is nowhere in sight yet – far from it. In fact yesterday another much stronger blow was made making the suffering of the Filipino masses even more intense.    

     What is this blow that we are referring to? It is the new increase in the prices of fuel products that took effect by midnight of Sunday. The increase is so huge that its impact on the economy and on every ordinary Filipino family would be far-reaching.

     Imagine a little over a week ago the oil industry sector proudly brandished its decrease in the prices of oil products with diesel cost going down by a measly P0.35!  And yesterday, a little over one week since the reduction took effect, the prices of oil products made another leap upward by over 12 times the amount (specifically for diesel) it had decreased previously. Then when the hike was announced the effectivity was immediate – less than 12 hours.  

    Why is the government allowing this kind of economic dictatorship by the oil companies? We should therefore not be surprised if the oil industry is actually enjoying – perhaps even subtly encouraging – the escalation of the Ukraine-Russian War. After all these economic dictators are making a killing in terms of profits at the expense of the people, be they us Filipinos or other nationalities who live in countries that are dependent on oil coming from the ones more blessed with the black gold.

     With the economic devastation that has already brought the Philippines down on its knees because of the raging health pandemic and now further worsened by the oil price increase and the subsequent upward adjustment in the prices of prime commodities as a result thereof we Filipinos  cannot help but be situate inside the so-called “survival mode” just to make both ends meet.

     Probably, it is about time that the Machiavellians in the top echelon of our government, perhaps led by no less than President Rodrigo Duterte, should now think of ways to arrest the wanton uptrend in the prices of oil products as well as the costs of other commodities that normally go up with the rise in fuel prices.

     Yes, we believe that they now have to practice the Machiavellian character in them if what they intend to do will redound to the benefit of the greater number of Filipinos.

     Say, why not seriously consider studying the possibility of going back to the Marcos-time regulated regime that successfully tamed down the oil companies in dictating the cost of their products?  And why not also regulate the movement of prices of the most basic of commodities that are the Filipinos’ life blood?

     We believe that the current economic downturn caused by both the CoViD 19 pandemic and the Russian-Ukraine war is the more critical time for our top government officials to let out the Machiavellian in them if they are convinced that by doing so will save our country and people from further getting more battered and eventually brought to the skull mountain for our crucifixion.

     Imagine what we have recalled to have happened before when there was a crisis in oil supply that resulted in the sky-high rise in prices of its by-products and subsequently those of other goods and services! That might bring in the hammer and the nails to crucify us Filipinos.

     What if “modern Roman soldiers” who will rise and make the Filipinos drink vinegar through a sponge on the tip of a spear? And by “modern Roman soldiers” we mean the power industry, the communications sector, the water industry (which is doing exactly in Davao City), the transport business and the like? 

     What if they too, whack us with their whips further helping in the flagellation process? That is, hitting us Filipinos more by increasing the prices of their products and services using as a basis the high cost of oil?

     Are we to expect that the government will do exactly what people in its Department of Energy (DOE) did recently – appeal to the oil companies to slow down their price hike imposition?

     What then is our government there for as regulator if it is hesitant to regulate even with the time for doing so is in its most rife situation?  Would it rather allow itself to be “regulated” instead?  If so, what irony could it be!

     For comments and/or reactions we can be reached through the following: e-mail address victorino.sumalinog@yahoo.com; Mobile No. 09392980435; and Landline 2372169.

                                    


Source: Mindanao Times ( https://mindanaotimes.com.ph/2022/04/27/rough-cuts-3/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rough-cuts-3)