Oil price increases, higher water rates augur worse social conditions in 2012--CPP

Information Bureau
Communist Party of the Philippines
January 04, 2012

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) denounced the "successive burdensome increases in oil prices and water rates," calling these "further punishment on the Filipino people who are already reeling from grave socio-economic conditions."

"The January 1 water rate increases and the new round of oil price hikes augur the further deterioration of the Filipino people's socio-economic conditions in 2012," said the CPP. "In a single day, Aquino's promises of a better economy this year have been proven empty."

Yesterday, the two biggest water concessionaires in Metro Manila announced that they have increased water rates by an average of P2.335 per cubic meter starting January 1. The following days, oil companies increased anew the prices of diesel, gasoline, kerosene, cooking gas and other oil products adding to the already high prices of petroleum products.

"The new round of increases in water and oil prices is a result of the continuing policy of privatization and deregulation that has governed the Philippines in the past 30 years," said the CPP. "The Aquino regime's policy makers have made zero effort in repudiating and removing the long discredited, outdated and overly abused laws including the oil deregulation law, the EPIRA law, the law privatizing water services and many others."

"There can be no acceptable justification for the continuing increases in oil products, water and electricity rates when people are made to wallow deeper in the quagmire of poverty while the big bourgeois compradors and their big foreign partners are awash in superprofits."

The CPP pointed out that the successive increases in such basic commodities as oil prices and water services were implemented just a day after Aquino declared that "progress is already being felt not only by the wealthy and powerful, but by majority of our people" and promised "accelerated changes" in the coming year.

"What progress is Aquino talking about when the people's economic conditions are deteriorating due to skyrocketing costs of basic goods and services even as employment remains scarce and incomes remain low," said the CPP.

"Benigno Aquino III is a poor rhetorician who plucks high-sounding clich├ęs and generalities from thin air or from the manipulated statistics churned out by government agencies," said the CPP. "Aquino and his spinmeisters are exerting all-out effort to paint a rosy picture in order to conceal the reality of poverty, hunger, unemployment and the overall deterioration of the people's socio-economic conditions."