IF prices of essential commodities, like food products, continue to increase despite the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, blame it partly on the oil price hikes.
Admittedly, the cost of fossil fuel is rising beyond the reach of the poorest of the poor, who are mostly farmers, fishermen and laborers, due to tight global supply.
Note that since January 2022, the prices of gasoline, diesel, kerosene and other petroleum products in the country have been rising, drawing howls from the Filipino people.
This is understandable since hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, of people are still jobless and underemployed because of the closure of many business establishments.
Even with the easing of quarantine restrictions, these beleaguered business firms are unable to resume operations due to lack of financial resources and customers.
“Hirap na hirap pa rin ang maraming negosyante dahil hindi pa rin umaarangkada ang ekonomiya,” lamented an operator of a public utility vehicle (PUV).
And the question is, should concerned government authorities allow traders to just raise their prices without considering the welfare of the Filipino people?
Some well-meaning people do not think so, saying the government should do something to help the people, notably those who find hard to even meet their daily needs.
In the view of many quarters, including the poor, the outgoing Duterte presidency, which ends at 12 noon on June 30, 2022, is still capable of upholding public interest.
Makagagawa pa ng paraan ang gobyerno para matulungan ang mga nahihirapang mamamayan.