The continued rally in prices in the world market will result in greater financial difficulties to Filipino consumers as the price of diesel at the pumps will rise by P1.80 per liter while gasoline will climb by P0.90 per liter.
Of the three commodities in the weekly price adjustments, kerosene, a base for aviation fuel, will incur the highest increase of P2.30 per liter, as announced by the oil companies.
As of this writing, the industry players that already sent advisories on their price hikes effective Tuesday (January 18) had been Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation, Cleanfuel, PetroGazz, Seaoil and Chevron; while their competitor-firms are expected to follow the price upticks implemented.
This is already the third round of price escalations at the petroleum pumps this month – and increases for gasoline already hovered at aggregate P3.50 per liter; P5.30 per liter for diesel; and P5.05 per liter for kerosene.
The incessant upswing of world oil prices is being feared anew to stir up hike in transport fears, especially if the government will not move favorably on pleas to suspend the enforcement of excise taxes on oil products.
Additionally, higher petroleum prices may trigger inflationary effect on the costs of basic goods; and will also have spiraling impact on the eventual pass-on cost in the electric bills of consumers – especially so since gas pricing is still heavily linked to oil.
As of Monday trading, international benchmark Brent crude was still surging past $86 per barrel; while Dubai crude, which is a reference pricing for the Asian market, had been above $81 per barrel.
Under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law, excise taxes could have been suspended if crude prices had averaged at US$80 per barrel or above within a quarter stretch; but it was notable that prices in the last quarter of 2021 softened to the level of US$75 per barrel for most of November and December.
So far, the Philippine government was able to calm the public transport sector when it extended P1.0 billion worth of subsidy that the drivers can use to cushion the impact of high oil prices in their daily routine of ferrying commuters from their homes to places of work.
At this point, global experts are closely monitoring how oil markets will be reacting to China’s plan of releasing crude from its strategic reserve; as well as the next step of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and ally-producers (OPEC +) to inject additional 400,000 barrels of crude into market early next month.