Farmers demand the resignation of DoE Sec Cusi over runaway oil prices

Grant farmers’ ayuda ASAP

Farmers reiterated their demand for the resignation of Energy of Secretary Alfonso Cusi Jr. over the dizzying petroleum prices. “For everyone’s best interest Cusi should immediately resign as Department of Energy (DoE) secretary. He might as well just focus on his affairs in PDP-LABAN. Ito lang naman ang inaatupag niya at hindi ang pagresolba sa mataas ng presyo ng produktong petrolyo,” according to KMP chairperson Danilo Ramos.

The group also expressed support to several proposals to address high oil prices including the suspension of excise taxes on oil products and the renationalization of Petron Corp. Suspending the excise tax will effectively reduce an estimate P10 per liter on gasoline and P6 on diesel.

KMP will join the series of multisectoral protests against high oil prices.

Oil prices have incessantly hiked for the past nine weeks, pushing prices of food and non-food items to a new high. The group said Cusi’s latest statement that prices of oil products have either stabilized or only need very little adjustment is an affront to consumers bearing the brunt of high food inflation. High fuel prices are causing domino effects on the cost of living and agricultural production, says Ramos who noted that farmers shell out P1,653 more for 190 liters of diesel per hectare per cropping.

The group said the granting of cash assistance and production subsidies to farmers is imperative to boost food production. Farmers are demanding for P10,000 cash assistance and P15,000 production subsidies.

Overall, the rising cost of fuel is also impacting food security. Farmers use private irrigation, water pumps, and oil-based fertilizers. High oil prices have further pushed up fertilizer prices which are steadily been on the rise over the past months. With increased production costs, low farmgate prices of crops, and an increase in transport costs, farmers’ are often on the brink of bankruptcy.

Global oil benchmark prices have breached $80 per barrel. As of October 25, Brent and Dubai have risen to $82.87 and $85.36 per barrel, respectively. Year-to-date oil price adjustments resulted in a total net increase of P19.65 per liter for gasoline, P18.00 per liter for diesel, and P15.49 per liter for kerosene.

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