“We wish from Pres. Aquino political will to end the relentless spate of oil price hikes that continue to take a heavy toll on overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families especially in light of the dwindling dollar caused by the recent global economic crisis.”
This was the message of global alliance of overseas Filipinos and families Migrante International to President Benigno Aquino III on his 52nd birthday today. Oil prices surged anew on the eve of Aquino’s birthday – the fifth increase since the start of the new year, resulting in hikes in prices of LPG, other petroleum products, basic utilities and consumer goods.
“With the worsening global economic crisis, remittance-dependent families are in a very vulnerable and dangerous place. The dollar depreciation combined with the never-ending spate of oil price hikes and the continuous swell in the inflation rate will have an ominous impact on OFWs and their families,” Martinez said.
Martinez said that OFWs send an average of P8,000 per month to their families to cover expenses for rent, food and other utilities. “Sa patuloy na pagtaas ng presyo ng langis, paano na pagkakasyahin ng mga pamilya ang kakarampot na padala ng mga OFW?”
“Nanganganib na nga ang buhay at trabaho ng ating OFWs sa ibang bansa dahil sa gera at papatinding krisis, nanganganib pati ang halaga ng remittances na ipinapadala nila sa kanilang pamilya dahil sa mga di makatarungang pagtaas ng presyo ng langis. Idagdag mo pa diyan ang ang pagbaba ng halaga ng dolyar na higit na nagpapaliit ng halaga ng aming remittances,” he said.
He said that the Aquino government could actually do something to stop oil price hikes “if only it had political will and the welfare of its citizens in mind over big business’ profit”.
“President Aquino seems to worry more about the profits of big oil companies than our welfare. Our families have to contend with the shrinking value of our remittances while many of us have to even work harder, to endure even worst conditions in other countries, just so our families and cope and survive,” he said.
He also questioned lack of government action to look into allegations of overpricing of big oil companies, as well as its refusal to scrap the Oil Deregulation Law.
Migrante International called on all OFWs to oppose oil price hikes and foreign monopoly control in the oil industry. It will join the multisectoral protest on January 10, the 14th anniversary of the Oil Deregulation Law.###