MANILA (23-March-2012) – A federation of university and college student councils in the Philippines urged President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III to stop “Noynoying” over the spate of oil price and tuition fee hikes.
“Noynoying” is a a term coined from Mr. Aquino’s nickname Noynoy, meaning idleness, inaction, or simply inutility when it comes to resolving some problems of the society.
National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) secretary general Isabelle Baguisi, in statement said, the President should stop talking nonsense and start working on real solutions on the problems of soaring pump prices, tuition fees and other basic commodities and services.
Baguisi said that there are already 400 higher educational institutions (HEIs) that are going to increase their matriculation fees, while the prices of oil jacked up by at least P9.00 (US$0.21) in the past few weeks, forcing the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to provide an 50¢ increase on jeepney fare, effective March 21.
The student leader said the government should look into the matter of “overpricing” of local petroleum products, as independent think-tank IBON Foundation, Inc. said unleaded gasoline is overpriced by at least P15 ($0.35) per liter.
Meanwhile, Anakbayan national chairperson Vencer Cristostomo accused the current administration of lacking political will to address the problem of soaring oil prices and the tuition fee hike.
“It is indeed glaring, that the Palace has no political will to address the immediate calls of the Filipino people,” Crisostomo said, adding “As he [Aquino] blurts that he has no means to regulate and impede tuition increases in more than 400 universities nationwide and continues to protect the Big Three companies on continuing ‘monopoly pricing’ of petroleum products, he clearly manifests his willful neglect of his obligation to the Filipino people.”
Earlier, a senior official of the Church also called for the regulation of the prices of petroleum products.
Jaro Auxiliary Bishop and head of the Visayan Clergy Discernment Group (VCDG) lead convener Gerardo Alminaza told Aquino to be compassionate with the poor by regulating the oil prices.
“The unabated oil price increases result to the skyrocketing price of basic commodities, which in turn, add a heavier burden to our already suffering people,” Alminaza said in a statement published in CBCPNews.com.
“We thus call on the Aquino Government to manifest that it is indeed concerned with the well-being of the Filipino people by taking steps to alleviate their sufferings such as: regulating the oil industry so that oil companies will be stopped from overpricing the price of oil; removing the VAT on oil; and instituting price control over basic commodities,” the bishop furthered. [Noel Sales Barcelona/CBCPNews]