Filipinos in US disgruntled over soaring gas prices

By Henni Espinosa, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Posted at Feb 25 2012 12:08 PM | Updated as of Feb 25 2012 08:08 PM

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, California - Filipino commuters in America are starting to feel frustrated due to gas price hikes in recent weeks. In California, gasoline now averages at $4.20 a gallon.

Some motorists are blaming President Obama, which can possibly affect his re-election bid, political analysts said. A recent APGFK survey showed that Obama's negative rating on handling gas prices remains at 58% disapproval.

Consumer Vic de la Torre said he now has to pay $20 more just to fill up the tank of his car. He said he did not vote for Obama in the last election and he will not vote for him again in November.

"Choices have to be wisely made, especially in the upcoming election, because of all the hardships coming," de la Torre said.

Political analysts say Obama may have to get used to the criticisms as gas prices are expected to go up to $5 per gallon in the next few months.

Consumers, however, say that even with the hit, the US government should find ways to make gas more affordable for everyone.

University of San Francisco Political Science professor Jay Gonzalez said there's not much that Obama can do about higher gas prices, which are driven by tension in Iran and by higher demand in the US and in other growing nations. But he said it will continue to be a hot issue this election season.

"Every mistake and every negative thing about the economy, they're going to associate it with Obama. The soaring gas prices is one thing they will associate with his presidency," Gonzalez said.

He added that it also gives Republican contenders for the presidency ammo to hurt Obama's campaign.

"So the president uses very strong language and says those us of who believe you can get back to $2 dollar a gallon gas, that it's just politics. Well, that's baloney," Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said.

Obama, who spoke about the soaring gas prices in Miami yesterday, struck back at his GOP critics.

"Only in politics do people root for bad news, do they greet bad news so enthusiastically," the President said.

Filipino commuters said politics aside, changes have to be made.

Obama supporters pointed out that for as long as Obama continues to improve other aspects in the economy, like housing and job generation, people might just give him another chance at the presidency.