• Piston sets transport strike Friday

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    The Pinagkaisang Samahan ng Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (Piston), one of the biggest transport groups in the country, aims to paralyze traffic on Friday to protest the several rounds of oil price increases.

    Piston said the big increase implemented yesterday— P1.45 per liter for diesel and P1.05 for gasoline — is too big a burden for drivers who now earn much less because of the recent price hikes. So far this year, oil companies have increased their prices five times.

    Cumulatively, Piston said the price increases has reached P3.25 per liter of diesel and P3.35 per liter of gasoline.

    With yesterday’s sharp increase, the price of diesel is now P41.40 per liter while gasoline now costs P51.55 per liter.

    “Kinokondena namin ang kutsabahan ng gobyernong Aquino at Big 3 Oil cartel sa manipulado at kartelisadong paggalaw sa presyo ng langis na labis na nagpapahirap sa mga drayber at mamamayan (We are condemning the collusion between the government and the Big 3 oil cartel which is manipulating the prices of oil products),” George San Mateo, national president of Piston said.

    He added that seeking a fare increase is not their option at this time because it will only add burden to the riding public who are also bearing the higher cost of education and other utilities such water and electricity.

    “Mas mahalaga sa ngayon na mabuo agad ang malawak na pagkakaisa at sama-samang pagkilos ng mga drivers, mananakay at motorista upang ikasa ang laban at mga pagkilos kontra sa sunud-sunod na oil price hikes,” San Mateo said.

    He warned that if President Benigno Aquino 3rd will not lift a finger to stop oil price increases, they will mount a bigger transport strike that will be joined by other militant transport groups and cause oriented organizations.

    At least five oil firms increased their oil prices on Tuesday, the third movement for the month of June.

    In their separate advisories early Tuesday morning, Pilipinas Shell, Petron Philippines, Seaoil and Total Philippines said the price adjustment “reflects movements in the international oil market.”

    On June 11, companies jacked up the price of gasoline by 50 centavos per liter but slashed the price of kerosene by 15 centavos.

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