THE oil price hike (OPH) these past three weeks has placed us in a very compromising situation. Just as society tries to lift the alert levels in most places, unscrupulous companies are now lurking and exploiting the situation.

The oil market benefits from all these miseries we face in this “new abnormal.”

Society has given us justifications for the increase in oil prices.

First, our government is useless when we talk about the oil price hike. They are like sitting ducks. They do not know what to do with this problem. Since the passage of the Oil Deregulation Law, the oil industry became so independent that they even dictate the head of government.

The second is that we are always told that there is an increase in prices in the world market. This we can not also dispute because we need to import oil and we are subservient to the price they give us. The world market also blames Russia for this.

And lastly, we are told that this is part of the Train Law of this administration. This is the project of the Duterte administration to unburden the Filipinos by redistributing the percentages of tax to the commodities. Good economists say that if we sell imported oil at its value, it could have been half of the current price per liter. But because the government wants to levy more taxes on the oil industry, this is the reason why the price is increasing. In the long run, Train Law has defeated its purpose and has overburdened the ordinary citizen because Businessmen had transferred their burdens back to the consumers.

What can we do then since the state has told us that this OPH is inevitable? We can make a lot of savings and suffer the consequences. Why do we have to suffer, when we already know the cause of this misery?

So here are some practical ways of curbing the misery brought by OPH.

First, I agree that we need to learn how to go back to simple and basic life. We have to forego things that are powered by the oil industry. Second, we have to stop patronizing oil-based products. We need to patronize all that is natural. We will not perish without the present luxuries. We need to stop buying cars and instead go back to a healthy lifestyle. Cars had made us idle. It has contributed much to the oil industry. Without cars, we could still live and we will not be concerned with any OPH in the future. Lastly, we need to close our economy and live with what we have. We need to close our windows and doors to all modern-day matters (waste matter).

There is a need for us to destroy the oil industry. Without using their products, we could create surplus and excess. This will prompt them to look for consumers but we shall refuse until they sell it to our terms. This is a simple formula in economics that our leaders fear for us because these giant oil companies might stop their aids. This is a solution that will bring down the oil prayers to their knees and ask us to buy their products.

The question now is: Are we ready to forgo our luxuries now and live a brighter future or do we leave these to the next generation?

I remembered that the supposed “new normal” would give us changes that are concerned with our health and with how we live with the Covid menace. I did not expect that we shall face problems more difficult than what we had during the pandemic. I am shocked at how we had become too materialistic and profit-oriented, I thought the pandemic had brought us closer to God through helping the poor and the needy. Instead, now, we are too concerned with taking back what we had invested. It is now clear that everyone is busy and most of us have forgotten of the prayer time we had during the pandemic.