Various progressive groups led by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan – Quezon City (BAYAN-QC) staged a protest action in front of Petron gasoline station in Philcoa amid light to heavy rains.
“Hindi ito hadlang para ipakita natin na patuloy tayong titindig para sa pagkundena ng bulok na sistema ng bagong rehimen,” said BAYAN-QC secretary general Rena Cañete.
[The inclement weather did not suppress our rage to continue to fight and condemn the new regime with yet another rotten system]
The groups further stressed the failure of the Marcos Jr. administration to compensate the costs endured by drivers, commuters, and the ordinary people at large due to the unabated hikes in oil and basic commodities.
No time for rest
“Ang paulit-ulit na pagtaas ng presyo ng gasolina mula pa sa panahon ni Duterte at ngayon sa pag-upo ni Marcos ay parehong pinabayaan nila ang krisis at sapol na tayo ang apektado,” said Anakbayan QC organizer Vinny Guevara.
[The consecutive hikes on oil prices transpired since Duterte and now with Marcos that they both disregarded and yet we are those who have endured the said crisis.]
Guevara called on to eliminate the excise and value-added taxes on oil products that the government has long been corrupting and even worsened with the enactment of Oil Deregulation Law which allowed big oil industries for price fixing at profiteering on petroleum products.
He also shared that his father is a taxi driver.
According to the youth activist, his father would wake up and roam the streets already by three (3:00) or four (4:00) in the early morning and would come home late by one o ‘clock (1:00) the next day. This is roughly 22 hours of work with little to no time for adequate rest.
“Uuwi siya, ang kinikita niya minsan P500 lang. Ngayon, malaking problema sa amin iyon, sa amin. Na uuwi siya, tapos wala o mababa ang kinita. Sadyang hindi ito sapat para sa ikabubuhay ng pamilya,” Guevara added.
[He would come home earning at least P500. It is a big problem for our family. Sometimes, he would come with little to not much of earning. Such is not enough to suffice our family’s livelihood.]
Revisiting Old Capitol Site
Only few walks away from the protest action’s venue is the Old Capitol Site which faced numerous massive threats of community eviction and demolition threats.
Such threats were made due to University of the Philippines’ master development plan intending to create areas for academic use, science and technology, resource generation, residential and mixed-use zones, community services, green areas and parks, among others.
Most recently was the planned establishment of the Philippine General Hospital.
“Doble o tripleng pasakit ito sa mamamayang Pilipino na liban sa kinakaharap ng maralitang lungsod ang patuloy na pagtaas ng presyo ng langis at hindi pagbasura sa value added tax (VAT) at Oil Deregulation Law ay puspusan ang pagpapalayas sa kanilang komunidad at ang pagbabalahura sa kanilang karapatan sa paninirahan,” said Kabataan Partylist National Capital Region (KPL-NCR) Thirdy Ravena.
[It is a double or triple pain for the Filipino people that aside from the fact that the urban poor are facing the continuous rise in oil prices and the non-abolition of the value added tax (VAT) and Oil Deregulation Law, the people also endured the eviction threays and their struggle for the right to housing]
Ravena urged to join the people’s movement in time for the upcoming State of the Nation Address to call for immediate resolution on the socio-economic interest especially of the marginalized sectors.
“Inaasahan namin sa darating na SONA ay dagsain ang lansangan ng mga kabataan, ng manggagawa ng Quezon City.” Cañete seconded.
[We hope that the upcoming SONA will flood the streets with youth, workers of Quezon City]