The province of Negros Occidental was slammed with another round of fuel price increases on Wednesday, March 15, with price of diesel overtaking gasoline at P75 a liter.
In separate advisories released by Petron, Caltex, Total, Unioil and Cleanfuel it has implemented P13.15 increase per liter for diesel and P7.10 per liter for gasoline.
As a result of this, the transport sector and religious leaders are calling for a “People’s Holiday” on March 21 and 22 to support the two-day transport strike in Bacolod City and nearby areas. The strike will commence at 3 a.m. on March 21, and organizers foresee 100% paralyzation of public jeepneys operating in Bacolod. But buses running to and from Bacolod will continue to operate normally as they have not signified their intent to participate in the transport strike.
In a press conference, the group urged the public to go on a lockdown to call on the government to implement stopgap measures to mitigate the skyrocketing prices of fuel that affect everyone. In the last 2 weeks alone, oil companies have implemented almost 60% increase in fuel prices.
The transport groups in a statement added that if residents were able to comply with the mandatory lockdowns at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, they too can show their support for the strike by staying home for two days. The group underscored that the surging oil price hikes will not exempt anyone.
The lockdown is also the consumers’ way to protest against the rising costs of fares, basic needs, electricity, water and transportation of products, they added.
The joint statement was issued and signed by Pete Pico of the Negros Consumers Watch, Elizabeth Katalbas of the Federation of the Bacolod City Drivers Associations (FEBACDA), Albert Villanueva of the Sentrong Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operators Negros (SStone) and Rodolfo Gardoce of the United Negros Drivers and Operators Center (UNDOC).