Another fuel hike this week

Published January 26, 2019, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Myrna Velasco

The pump price of diesel products is expected to increase by P0.50 to P0.60 per liter this week according to industry players.

(Mark Balmores / MANILA BULLETIN)
(Mark Balmores / MANILA BULLETIN)

Gasoline products are also ex­pected to increase by P0.15 to P0.25 per liter and kerosene from P0.35 to P0.45 per liter.

But industry players qualified that the estimates are based on the four-day trading in the international market last week, and Friday’s (Janu­ary 25) cost softening may still trim the anticipated price hikes.

The month of January manifested continuing rise in fuel prices with the kick-off implementation period of the production cutback committed by world oil producers – primarily the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its Russian-led ally.

As of Thursday’s (January 24) trading, Dubai crude which is the benchmark for Asian oil markets was still at the level of US$59 per barrel, while Brent crude already breached US$61 per barrel.

Last week, the US market had reported marked increase in crude inventories that sent prices tumbling down again in the world market – send­ing early signals that rollbacks may be feasible in the coming weeks.

In the Philippine market, domestic troubles still revolve around the con­tinuing implementation of the second tranche of excise taxes under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act.

In a meeting with the oil compa­nies Friday, the Department of Energy (DOE) reminded them on strict and complete submission of the required documents – so the agency will have solid basis in validating on whether or not they have firmly complied with the law.

Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella said the oil firms have very “loose reporting,” “so they end up submitting incomplete documents or they keep sending in reports lacking in substance.”

The energy official also lamented the fact that the oil firms do not have delegated compliance officers on their mandated reporting and sub­mission of documents to the DOE.

Fuentebella said the department shall institute policy fixes so the oil in­dustry players will become responsible corporate citizens especially on matters that impact directly on consumers.