Diesel prices on rollback by P11.45/liter; gasoline by P5.45 per liter

Published March 21, 2022, 3:51 PM

by Myrna M. Velasco

Filipino motorists can finally heave a sigh of relief after roughly three months in financial squeeze at the pumps as diesel prices will be on rollback by P11.45 per liter and gasoline prices will also be cut by P5.45 per liter.

At the same time, the price of kerosene products will be slashed by P8.55 per liter, as advised by the oil companies for their scheduled Tuesday, March 22, pricing adjustments.

As of press time, the oil companies that already advised on their price cuts had been Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation, Seaoil, Chevron, Total, PTT Philippines, Cleanfuel, PetroGazz and Jetti Petroleum, while their rival-players are expected to follow.

Of all the players, Eastern Petroleum Corporation Chairman Fernando L. Martinez announced that their retail stations will implement heftier rollbacks of P12.50 per liter for diesel, and P6.50 per liter for gasoline effective 6:00 am Tuesday, March 22.

For all the other players in the industry, their price cuts had been manifestly lower than the calculations if anchored mainly on the swing of Mean of Platts Singapore (MOPS), and the oil firms justified that it had been due to other cost factors — like foreign exchange (forex) rate fluctuation as well as the biodiesel mix in the petroleum products being retailed at the pumps.

This week’s price cut is also seen as a “very temporary relief” for consumers as the industry is seen to return to “price uptrends”

again given fresh round of rally in oil prices in the world market.

As of Monday, March 21 trading, international benchmark Brent crude climbed to the level of $111 per barrel again; roughly $4 per barrel from last Friday’s spot trading price of $107 per barrel; while for Dubai crude, it was roughly steady at $108 per barrel.

Global experts are largely anticipating that the ‘era of oil prices above $100 per barrel’ has not been over yet, hence, consumers shall still brace for incessant upswings of pump prices in the weeks and even months ahead.

Despite the soaring international prices, the economic managers in the Philippines cannot be twisted on their position yet to suspend the excise taxes for petroleum products – instead, the target of the Department of Finance (DOF) would be to extend “targeted subsidies” to critical sectors, like public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers; as well as farmers and fishermen.

The national government has allocated P5.0 billion worth of fuel subsidy that shall be distributed to PUV drivers in two tranches – this month and April; as well as P1.1 billion financial aid to the agriculture sector that shall also be given in two tranches.

With prospects of oil price hikes again next week, the government is being prodded to fast-track its distribution of subsidies, so the public transport sector in particular can already gain a breather from high expenses on fuel.