Filipino fishermen suffering from series of oil price hike
Filipino fishermen, whose bulk of production budget is spent on fuel, were directly hit by its government’s decision to impose a 10-percent duty on imported oil products, which happened at a time when global prices went up due to limited production in oil exporting countries.
In a statement, national fishers group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) decried the latest oil price hike that took effect last week.
Prices of gasoline, diesel, and petroleum products have particularly increased at around P1 to P2 per liter after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies slashed their output to 10 million barrels a day, putting pressure on the global prices of oil.
Before that, the Duterte administration also imposed temporary additional import duty of 10 percent, on top of their existing most favored nation and preferential import duties, on imported crude oil and refined petroleum products.
In a statement, PAMALAKAYA questioned the timing of the price increase when people are enduring the impacts of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to the public health and economic lives of the people.
“The oil price hike is an additional burden to poor families who barely make ends meet caused by the restrictive community quarantine. It is detrimental to small fisherfolks who regularly consume gasoline for fishing operations, as petroleum products eat up almost 80 percent of our production costs,” PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson Fernando Hicap said.
“An increase to prices of oil products means an increase to our production expenses to another all-time high,” he added.
The fisherfolk group lamented that the fishing sector is already “battered by the skyrocketing oil prices caused by the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law”, which since its implementation in 2018, has increased the prices of diesel and gasoline by around P6 and P10, respectively.