BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO
A 2-day transport strike dubbed “people’s holiday” will be held in Bacolod City on March 21 to 22 as a result of the continued increase in the cost of basic commodities, particularly the escalating prices of fuel.
Pete Pico of Negros Consumers Watch, yesterday said the people’s holiday will start at 3 a.m. on March 21 and end at 3 p.m. on March 23. This will be capped by an ecumenical prayer rally at the Bacolod City Public Plaza that will be participated by different churches.
Pico said the holding of a people’s holiday was agreed upon during a unity forum on March 10 that was attended by private institutions, the Church, BPOs, professional and transport sectors.
Its objective is to bring to the attention of the national government the clamor of the people, while the business group is planning to write concerned government offices to immediately address the worsening prices of petroleum products, he said.
Pico said they are calling for the suspension of the implementation of the 12 percent Value Added Tax on all petroleum products; the scrapping of 12 percent VAT on water, electricity and basic commodities; and the imposition of price control on all basic commodities.
They are also calling for the removal of excise tax/Train Law on public transport; the immediate distribution of financial assistance of P6,500 for tricycle, jeepney, mini bus and taxi drivers among others; and the junking of the Oil Deregulation Law. They are also against the cooperative/corporation scheme of the fake modernization program, he said.
They are appealing to the public to remain in their homes, if possible, as a sign of their protest against the continued increase in prices of basic commodities, transport fare, electric and water bills, and other products, Pico said.
“If we have been placed under lockdown during the pandemic, we can also lockdown our activities for two days to prevent more calamities from happening as a result of the oil price hike, ” he added.*