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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, March 5, 2012
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UNDOC protest set vs.
soaring oil prices


The United Negros Drivers Operators Center will hold a march protest on March 15 in support of the call of the Pinagkaisang Samahang ng mga Tsuper at Operators Nationwide for a nationally-coordinated protest action for the review of the Downstream Oil Deregulation Law and oil price increases.

PISTON will hold a week-long protest action from March 12-16, but have an option on whether to go on strike or not.

UNDOC secretary general Jessie Ortega said they will converge at the Lupit Church at 1 p.m. on March 15 and move out at 2 p.m., going to the Fountain of Justice at the City Hall where they will stage a rally to demand for the scrapping or review of the Oil Deregulation Law, and calling for the reduction of the 12 percent Expanded Value Added Tax on oil products by 6 or 7 percent.

He said they are also calling for an investigation on the price disparity of fuel in Negros compared to other provinces and are asking lawmakers about the development of the congressional inquiry on the matter.

Ortega said they have the support of the Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry, he said.

MBCCI president Frank Carbon said there are several Bills in the House of Representatives and the Senate pertaining to the review of the Oil Deregulation Law that have been pending, some as early as 2010.

He said he wrote the office Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3rd District) inquiring about bills calling for the review or amendment of the Oil Deregulation Law and was informed by the solon’s political affairs officer, Ethyl Mendiola, that there are six pending bills in the House of Representatives and two in the Senate.

Carbon said some of these bills were authored by Senators Mirriam Santiago and Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada and Reps. Joseph Victor Ejercito, Rafael Mariano, Teddy Casiño, among others.

Meanwhile, Ortega said that since the opening of the 2012 Western Visayas Regional Athletic Association meet in Bacolod City will be on March 12, they decided to only hold a march protest.

They have assured the provincial government that they will not stop their operations in order not to hamper the sports event, he said. Multi-sectoral groups are joining their march protest on March 15 and they are expecting about 400 protestors, he added.*CGS.

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