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Gabriela launches petition, vows more mass actions against price increases

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Gabriela launches petition, vows more mass actions against price increases

“I know that the government is spending so much on the impeachment case. But the government should not forget that there are also other people, mostly poor, who are in need.” – Zenaida Espiritu, vendor

MANILA — While Zenaida Espiritu, 49, was tending to the plastic bags she sells for a living along the busy stretch of Carriedo, she stops for a while to check on what was happening near the LRT station. A member of the women’s group Gabriela approaches her and, soon, she found herself signing a petition paper.

“I can hardly provide a decent meal to my children because of the continuing price hikes,” Espritu said, when asked why she decided to sign the petition paper.She has five children. Two are already married and one has stopped going to school. The two youngest are still studying, one in second year high school and the other in Grade 4.

Espiritu has been a vendor in Carriedo since she was 16 years old. She said her life became harder each passing year. Her capital for the products she is selling has increased through the years. “When I started selling these bags, I bought them for only $0.37. But now it increased to $0.46,” she said, “Then, people would ask for discounts.”

She goes home with only $2.79 after a day of hard work from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Her husband does not have a steady income as a construction worker. Their meager income, amid the increasing prices of staple goods and services, is not enough for her children. “That is why I signed the petition paper. I hope that my signature could reach our government and heed our call.”

Gabriela, the country’s largest women’s group, has launched Altrapresyo(n): Alerto sa Pagtaas ng Presyo Network, a consumers campaign network that aims to secure one million signature to repeal the oil deregulation law and the E-VAT on oil products and basic goods and services. The group aims to submit the petition before the House of Representatives to oblige the lawmakers to listen to their demands.

Zenaida Espiritu signs the petition paper against increasing prices (Photos by Janess Ann J. Ellao/ bulatlat.com)
“If the Aquino government cannot do anything to address the consumers’ problems regarding the increasing prices of basic goods, women would do all possible means from protesting in the streets to the Congress,” Lana Linaban, secretary general of Gabriela, said, “We would call the attention of the Aquino government because our impoverished conditions and hunger would never be acceptable.”

Signing the petition 

Along with the petition signing, Gabriela also conducted a free blood pressure reading. It goes well with their campaign Altapresyon, which literally means high blood pressure.
Espritu said she often has high blood pressure whenever the increasing prices of staple food never seems to stop. “My children’s school supply, gas, sugar and rice,” she added, “Before I only spend $0.58 for a kilo of rice. But now I spend $0.88.”.... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/02/10/gabriela-launches-petition-vows-more-mass-actions-against-price-increases/


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