Filipino motorists will experience huge relief next week with petroleum products at the pumps being anticipated to be on substantial rollbacks again based on calculations by oil companies.
According to industry players, gasoline prices will be trimmed by P2.60 to P2.70 per liter while diesel will be slashed by P2.65 to P2.75 per liter. The projected price cuts are based on cost swings of the Mean of Platts Singapore (MOPS), which is the pricing benchmark employed in the deregulated downstream oil sector.
With air travel slowing down anew, the price of kerosene, which is a base fuel for the aviation sector, will also be reduced by P2.60 to P2.70 per liter.
This is already the fifth rollback in series of price downtrends since last month. And by far, this is the first cost reduction at the oil pumps this December.
Global experts noted that the unremitting threat posed by the COVID-19 Omicron variant triggered the collapse in oil prices in recent trading days as mobility and economic activities are getting encumbered anew.
In their December 2 meeting, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and ally-producers (collectively known as OPEC+) have concurred to add 400,000 barrels per day to supply by January next year, notwithstanding the distress posed by the new COVID variant.
In the Philippines, the successive price cuts at the pumps had been a beneficial development primarily in calming the agitated public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers, who have been agonizing over relentless price hikes in previous months.
The continuing price plunge in oil prices will at least prop their daily earnings as several PUV drivers still regard the P1 billion worth of fuel subsidy insufficient.
And with many Filipino consumers now out on the streets for their return-to-work commutes or shopping chores for the Christmas holidays, the lower oil prices will be an added relief to household budgets.
Nevertheless, a monitoring report of the Department of Energy (DOE) showed that year-to-date price adjustments still logged net increases of P18.10 per liter for gasoline; P15.70 per liter for diesel and P13.19 per liter for kerosene products.
The Philippine oil market is heavily import-dependent, hence, the downswing in international oil prices will have favorable impact on consumers and the country’s economy.