New hefty oil price hikes seen next week

Published October 23, 2021, 10:30 AM

by Myrna M. Velasco

As global oil prices considerably settled at $85 per barrel, higher oil prices will reign again at Philippine petroleum pumps in this coming week.

As calculated by the oil companies, the price of regular gasoline will be increased by P1.05 to P1.15 per liter; while the higher grade gasoline products will have a heftier increase of P1.50 to P1.60 per liter.

With the new round of price hikes for gasoline products, the year-to-date aggregate increase for that commodity will already surpass P20 per liter, as culled from the price monitoring report of the Department of Energy.

For diesel products, there will be leaner upward adjustment of P0.30 to P0.40 per liter; and it is the same course for kerosene product prices, that are anticipated to rise by P0.45 to P0.55 per liter.

This is already the 9th round in an unbroken string of price upticks that started in August; and since January this year, a DOE report showed that gasoline prices had already climbed by P19.65 per liter; diesel by P18 per liter; and kerosene by P15.49 per liter.

International experts are currently monitoring the strain of the newly detected Delta variant sublineage of the coronavirus; and taking a stock as to how this will affect movement restrictions anew, that in the process may impact on demand dynamics across oil markets.

The incessantly rising oil prices in the world market have been prompting Philippine policymakers to temporarily suspend taxes levied on oil commodities – primarily the excise taxes and value added tax (VAT) – albeit, this is being opposed by the Department of Finance (DOF) because of revenue stream cut that could impair the State’s response to the lingering health crisis.

The suggestion of lawmakers then is to enforce ‘selective suspension’ of VAT and excise taxes – and it shall only be extended to critical sectors, mainly the drivers of public utility vehicles such as jeepneys and tricycles.

And as Filipino consumers are increasingly agitated at never-ending acceleration in pump prices, the DOE has been stepping up its monitoring activities – not just on pricing adjustments, but also on the quality of products being retailed at the pumps.

“It is unfortunate that the current surges in oil prices are caused by factors beyond our control,” Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said, while committing that the energy department will be helping consumers “and one way to do this is to ensure that petroleum

products in our domestic market meet both national quality and quantity standards.”

Last Friday (Oct. 22), the DOE had undertaken random monitoring of oil companies – and it examined the overall condition of the dispensing pumps as well as the facilities of the gasoline stations.

The energy chief stressed “we conduct these spot inspections to ensure our consumers get their money’s worth, especially since we are still in a battle against Covid-19. Every centavo counts.”

 
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