The term in the title should have been ‘plight’ which would have described the reality more accurately: that the fare hike is one of the devastator events in our time. And by simply thinking of it, one pulls in a constellation of events and people who or which, in one way or another, contributed to this additional headache to the Filipinos.
A fifty-cent increase in fare doesn’t seem much. But in extending this to long trips, additional fare will surely cut deeper into our pockets and budget. It would be foolish to compare the fare that we have at this very moment to the ones we had before because the conditions were different – different world market oil prices, different peso value, and different political atmosphere, among others. But one can’t help but wish that ‘sana katulad na lang ng dati.’ But it is something that we cannot grant right now.
Drop back to the blame games: the drivers who are seeking for a level playing field, for a compensation equal to the work (and resources) that they invest? Or the government again, for ‘idling’ and for making no sharp moves to tackle to ever-present oil price problems? I bet my blame on four numbers: 8479 (see it here). Something that was crafted for healthy competition amongst oil companies but which seemed to have been anointed by some evil and ended up being used to justify almost constant oil price hikes.
I may be speaking half ignorant of the other facts on oil price and market mechanisms but one drops all such complexities when you deal with people who rack their brains everyday just to have the money to buy daily food for their families. The government should not pose as an identity shrouded in mystery and bureaucracy. It should get hands-on with the lay Filipinos’ concerns. This may sound cliché but it is good to be reminded of such things every now and then.
At least now we’ll have some use for our spare coins in our bags and piggy banks.