This strategy has been used time and again by leaders to keep  control of the people, area or situation. And this is being used right now by the giant oil companies in the Philippines to dictate oil prices at the same time silence resistance from consumers.

For the last 2 weeks, the alleged cartel is systematically increasing the prices of gasoline, commonly used by the middle and upper class, at the same time decreasing the price of diesel, which is commonly used for public transportation, and trucks that transport goods.

Traditionally, the Jeepney drivers and urban poor groups are the noisiest and hold regular mass demonstration against the oil companies for holding on to high prices even though world prices are going down. By adopting this strategy, they effectively silence the protesters but still keep the same profit because they just pass the burden of high prices to the middle and upper class who are generally quiet.

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Fuel prices now in the Philippines is higher compare with the prices in the US, and the gov’t can’t do anything  because of the deregulated law. The urban group is also quiet because they benefit from the cheaper diesel price, and if the trend continues, this will eventually roll back public transportation fares.

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But I find the whole strategy unfair to the middle class because they take the burden alone in subsidizing the less privilege of the society. The upper class are generally not affected because they are entrepreneurs and some even run the gasoline stations. They still enjoy the same margin from the proceeds of high gasoline prices.

While playing a big brother role to the less fortunate of the society is a noble act, but this strategy appears to be self serving.

About the author

Sonnie is an experienced strategist for employer branding and communications; and people/ organization management and development.

He also received two awards, one for his advocacy on digital accountability, and another for the use of blog for mentoring.

He co-founded Blogwatch in 2009. Thru this initiative, bloggers voice were heard in convo involving national issues.

He co- founded LODI Inc. (Learning and Organization Development, Inc.) in 2018 as an offshoot to his year long #HRMentoring program.

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